Monday, September 15, 2008

Effects of the Budget Cut

We fought it. Our parents fought it. Our schools fought it. But there was no stopping this menacing monster that charged at us, almost taking us off guard. The monster that would not go away - the budget cuts in NYC public schools.

The news of the DOE budget cuts last spring was met with uproar. After all, this is our future. But as more and more was slowly learned about the reasons behind the cuts, we began to understand. Tax revenues in NYC has significantly gone down and Mayor Bloomberg had to make the tough decision to cut $58.5 billion from the budget of all city agencies. The DOE experienced a $180 million budget cut, with other crucial city services experiencing massive cuts as well (the NYPD had $33.8 million budget cut). The figures seem astronomical and of course everything can be traced back to Washington and how poor our economy is doing.

Though the budget cuts were understandable, the actual amount of money cut was not. Every single public school in NYC saw a percantage cut in their budget. And of course when we found out the actual amounts, we protested again but in vain.

Now how exactly has the budget cuts affected us students in NYC public schools?

Personally, I could not take two AP classes I wished to take this year. My school, Brooklyn Technical High School, saw a cut of nearly one million dollars! We are known as one of the prestigios schools in NYC offering our students courses and materials they would not be found in most other schools. And that promise is what had to get cut off. My school had to make the decision to cut many AP and advanced classes, or the number of classes offered, to be able to offer even the fundamental classes. For now, most schools are surviving by employing similar methods. My brother's school, Beacon High School, now offers only two math classes to seniors with 40 students in each class! Obviously, the effects are huge.

But what message is our city, and Washington, sending us? Have times gotten so bad that the strongest nation in the world is no longer be able to invest in its future? Grants, donations, and other supplements can only offset so much of the cut. They cannot possibly allow schools to function at the normal level now so what will we do next year when the DOE budget cuts will rise to $324 million?