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Funding for restorative justice programs won’t be cut this year, officials said

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City education officials have confirmed that funding for restorative justice won’t be cut this year.

New York City’s education department is no longer considering cuts to restorative justice programs, officials said Wednesday.

This was following an intense pushback from dozens of advocacy groups.

“There are some initiatives that may come off the table — there are others that we grow and expand,” said schools Chancellor David Banks. “But we’re not making any reductions in restorative justice.”

Banks’ comments came as he laid out plans to maintain school safety this year, including replacing hundreds of school safety agents who resigned during the pandemic and boosting communication with parents during emergencies.

Bolstered by federal stimulus money, the city plans to spend over $21 million on restorative justice programs this year, roughly triple the amount compared with two years ago, according to the Independent Budget Office.

The city is still “developing specific plans” for how that money will be spent but will generally continue programs that are already in place, said education department spokesperson Nathaniel Styer.

Advocates praised the decision to fund restorative justice, but pressed for more transparency. “With those threats now off the table, we again call for a detailed accounting of how [fiscal year] 22 restorative justice funding was used, how [fiscal year] 23 funding will be used, and for this accounting to be made public,” the Dignity in Schools Campaign, which supports restorative justice programs, said in a statement.

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