Restorative justice funding under threat, NYC schools advocates warn

Restorative justice funding under threat, NYC schools advocates warn

Thanks to billions in federal pandemic relief funding, the city’s education department made plans to dramatically expand restorative justice programming, more than tripling funding over a three-year period to $21.6 million this school year.

But dozens of advocacy groups are now raising the alarm that much of that funding is “at risk” — including a planned expansion of restorative justice programs to all middle and high schools — according to a letter sent to top city officials that was released on Monday.

“Cutting funding and rolling back citywide restorative justice initiatives will deny schools the resources they rely on to respond to and prevent harm, support young people to navigate conflict, and hold students accountable for their actions while supporting them in feeling connected to school and learning,” says the letter, which was distributed by the Dignity in Schools Campaign, which advocates for alternatives to suspensions and other punitive discipline measures.

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