mental health

First Person

it's about relationships

Prevention push

painful choices

Budget blues

year in review

Brain science

Local roots

catching some zzzzs

Don't be a stranger

mental health 'crisis'

Data Void

New York

Walcott announces mental health funds, threatens aide layoffs

Dozens of schools will get new access to mental health services for their students under a $30 million initiative that Chancellor Dennis Walcott unveiled today. Walcott introduced the new initiative during a City Council hearing about the Department of Education's proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. Chancellor Dennis Walcott testifies at City Council's budget hearing today. The Department of Education's proposed budget is $19.7 billion, 1.5 percent higher than this year. The increase, which comes after three years of budget cuts, is allowing the city to add teachers rather than cut them this year. But Walcott cautioned that the city would still have to lay off 225 school workers who are represented by the District Council 37 union. Principals cut the workers loose last year but the department has been covering their costs, according to Walcott, who called the arrangement "unsustainable." “I don’t want to see any layoffs, I know DC 37 doesn’t want to either, and most of all, neither do the men and women affected by the prospective loss of employment,” said Walcott. “If we can work with the union to identify savings and concessions to offset these costs, layoffs are avoidable, and I’m hopeful this can be accomplished.” The department laid off around 700 school aides in October after negotiations to save their jobs failed. A DC-37 official declined to comment immediately on the threatened layoffs, saying that the union was surprised by Walcott's comments before the council.
New York

School EMS referrals, on the rise, catch City Council's attention