Bill de Blasio Doesn’t Have Enough Rich Friends to Support Public Schools

May 13, 2015 | Liam Mathews

The New York City public school system is so fucked up that the mayor elected to help fix it can’t effectively pay for it because he can’t raise enough money from private donors. The New York Times reports that the Fund for Public Schools, a nonprofit organization that Mayor Bloomberg transformed into a powerhouse fundraiser by appealing to philanthropists and corporations, has raised $18 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, considerably short of the $29 million that the fund raised on average annually during Bloomberg’s tenure. About half of that $18 million comes from multi-year grants awarded in 2012. De Blasio, who is less willing to kowtow to billionaires than his predecessor, and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña aren’t as well connected to the corporate-philanthropic pipeline as Bloomberg and his chancellor, Caroline Kennedy. As a result, public school programs and facilities could take a hit, though it’s not clear if the shortfall will have immediate consequences.

This highlights one of the problems on relying on private donors rather than fully on public funds to support public schools: When the donations dry up, the city is left scrambling, and the kids are the ones who suffer the effects.

(Photo: Jon Mannion)