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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Public Outrage in NYC Over $1 Billion Spent on ThriveNYC Program

Exactly how much money has Chirlane McCray, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio's wife, wasted on her ThriveNY Program?

My guess is we will never know the amount. Some say $1 billion, others several thousands of dollars - $ 1 million.

Whatever the amount is, almost every source of information about ThriveNY is in agreement that something is wrong. The numbers for funding and results are not there. With more than $34 million given to the education bottomless hole in 2019-2020, and no accountability, that's just ridiculous.

It seems that the money is NOT going to 280 city school food service workers who are considered 'essential', but IS going to new hires working in the offices of Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Richard Carranza.

What are you doing about this, Scott Stringer?

RANK Nepotism in New York City: The Mayor Appoints His Wife to the New NYC

Chirlane McCray’s embattled ThriveNYC gets overhauled

NYC Mayor's Removal Demanded By 2 City Council Members

Betsy Combier,
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials 

Child advocates slam Chirlane McCray’s $1B ThriveNYC program

Julia Marsh, NY POST, May 4, 2020

First Lady Chirlane McCray’s $1 billion “ThriveNYC” mental-health program has failed to keep city students out of psych wards — and advocates are demanding something that actually works, The Post has learned.
The nearly $30 million that McCray’s controversial initiative pumped into the education system during the 2018-2019 school year did nothing to reduce the number of incidents for which cops were called and students were sent for psychiatric evaluations, official school safety data show.
The number — 3,547 — was unchanged from 2017-2018, even though ThriveNYC boosted its annual spending in city schools from $21.6 million to $29.2 million, according to a City Council financial document.
The disastrous results have led a coalition of 41 organizations — including Advocates for Children of New York, the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Legal Aid Society — to complain that ThriveNYC programs “do not provide direct, ongoing support to students in school.”
“They’re not working directly with students to help address the behavior. They’re not working directly with school staff, either,” said Dawn Yuster of Advocates for Children of New York.
Instead, the coalition is calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to come up with $15 million in funding for a new program to provide one-on-one counseling for emotionally troubled students when they return to school in the fall.
The money, Yuster said, could come from “inefficiencies” in ThriveNYC’s budget, which critics have accused of failing to produce measurable results in helping New Yorkers cope with serious mental illness.
In addition to individual long-term counseling for the most troubled students, the coalition’s proposed “Mental Health Continuum” would providing coaching for teachers, family support and referrals to hospital-based mental health clinics.
Yuster said the plan was “ready to go” and would “meet the needs of students who need help the most.”
It would also help end the DOE’s practice of “continuing to call on the NYPD to remove thousands of them from class each year –- who sometimes even handcuff them as young as 5 years old,” she said.
Last week, de Blasio said his wife’s initiative would lead the effort to help students traumatized by the coronavirus pandemic when they return to school in September.
But Liz Haela, a special education teacher at Bronx middle school, said she wasn’t even aware that McCray’s program was in schools.
“Students will thrive if there are more service providers who can address their needs and develop relationships with them,” she told The Post.
McCray spokeswoman Siobhan Dingwall defended ThriveNYC’s work with city students and said additional assistance was planned.
“This administration has made historic investments in mental health and increased support in schools,” Dingwall said.
“We agree that we need to build upon this already significant work to ensure we are meeting the greater needs of students as they return to school. The Department of Education is developing a strategy, planning to meet with advocates in the coming week, and details of the plan will be shared soon.”
Julia Marsh, NY POST, April 29, 2020
Chirlane McCray’s embattled mental health plan ThriveNYC has been tasked with helping students traumatized by the coronavirus pandemic — despite criticism that the $1 billion program is costly and ineffective.
“The first lady and the chancellor are working together to take a lot of the initiatives that have been created through Thrive and apply them in the coming months with our kids remotely, but also to start the planning for September,” Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday at a joint press conference with McCray.
“We understand that in September there’s going to be a challenge in terms of mental health for our kids that is absolutely unprecedented and we’re going to have to do a lot in every school to support kids who have obviously been traumatized,” de Blasio said.
“As we get closer to the opening of school definitely a plan is going to be put out on mental health services in all schools for September and the first lady and the chancellor will be working on that together,” de Blasio said.
City Councilman Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island) blasted the move, saying that it’s an effort to boost the profile of McCray who mulling a run for Brooklyn Borough President.

“At this point he is just trolling us and shifting taxpayer funds to the control of his unqualified and unelected wife in the hopes Brooklynites are blind enough to support her for borough president,” Borelli said.
Other critics from City Comptroller Scott Stringer to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, both Democrats, have said ThriveNYC spends millions of taxpayer dollars without ensuring that people with the most severe mental health issues receive treatment.
During the mayor’s briefing, McCray said teachers are being trained in “social emotional learning,” to help kids manage their feelings. Teachers are also working with students online to deal with their “emotional needs” during the COVID-19 crisis, McCray said.
“In the fall we hope to have a more expanded program because we know that so many of our young people are going to come back in distress. But we haven’t stopped doing anything we’re already doing. We’re doing what we can virtually. Training the teachers, bringing them up to speed so that they will be ready in September,” McCray said.
Reps for McCray could not immediately provide details about what ThriveNYC programs would be integrated into schools.
Dawn Yuster, with the nonprofit Advocates for Children of NY, urged the first lady and chancellor to consult with experts before finalizing their plans.
“As the city charts out a plan to address student mental health, it is more dire than ever that the administration launch a program targeted to students with significant mental health challenges pre-dating, and exacerbated by, the trauma of the pandemic who require a higher level of integrated services to succeed in school,” said Yuster,
“A diverse group of students, educators, parents, and advocates stand ready to work with the administration to advance this critical budget priority that will fill this significant service gap,” she said.