Teachers Union Sues Eric Adams After Mayor Slashes Education Budget To Deal With Illegal Immigration Crisis
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 14: New York City Mayor Eric Adams attends a news conference on November 14, 2023 in New York City. An ongoing investigation by the FBI is looking into whether Adams and members of his administration received campaign finance funding from the Turkish government after reports that he allegedly pressured the city fire officials and others to approve its new Manhattan consulate despite numerous safety concerns.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York City Mayor Eric Adams was sued by the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) on Thursday for his budget cuts to the city’s Education Department. Last month, Adams said the budget cuts — which included the NYPD — were made necessary by the ongoing illegal immigration crisis plaguing the city.

In the lawsuit filed in the Manhattan Supreme Court by the UFT along with the AFL-CIO and a group of teachers, the plaintiffs argue that the city’s cuts to education spending “will have a far-reaching and devastating impact on teachers and New York City children.” The lawsuit argues that there is “brutal irony” in Adams slashing schools’ budgets to address illegal immigration since the city’s Education Department also needs more money to deal with the increase in migrant children attending city schools.

“The stated reason for the cuts is to cover the cost of providing services to the influx of migrants now seeking asylum in New York City. Yet, of the more than 110,000 asylum seekers who recently landed in New York City, at least 20,000 are children currently enrolled in public schools,” the lawsuit states. “Approximately 33,000 migrant students have enrolled in public schools since the summer of 2022. Due, in large part, to this influx of migrant students, total enrollment in the City school district rose by over 8,000 students.”

Adams’ new budget would cut $547 million from the Education Department’s $39 billion budget, Gothamist reported. The cuts to education are expected to reduce the number of seats available at preschools and reduce the hours of free summer programs for some of New York City’s youth.

The lawsuit also accuses Adams’ administration of exaggerating the cost of illegal immigration for the city and failing to come up with a plan to address the crisis.

“Since at least January of 2023, when the influx of migrants had, to that point, cost the City some $300 million, the Mayor has failed to provide a cohesive plan or vision for the asylum seekers, instead singularly focusing on additional state and federal aid and on budgetary cuts in the absence of such funding,” the lawsuit adds.

New York City officials projected that the city, which has a budget of $110 billion, will spend $12 billion providing food and shelter for illegal immigrants through the 2025 fiscal year. More than 130,000 illegal immigrants have arrived in the city since last year as Adams has repeatedly asked the Biden administration to better enforce immigration laws at the border and help the Big Apple provide assistance to the illegal immigrants who have made it to the city.

When he announced the budget cuts last month, Adams warned that unless the city gets more help from the federal government, the cuts “will only be the beginning.” Along with the Education Department taking a hit, Adams’ budget cuts will also freeze police hiring, dropping the number of NYPD officers to below 30,000.


The mayor responded to the lawsuit during a press conference Thursday, saying he understands why the unions filed the suit, according to Gothamist.

“From time to time friends disagree,” Adams said. “Sometimes that ends up in a boardroom and sometimes that ends up in a courtroom.”

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