There's been a lot of news about the city's and the nation's education system this past week. The city is getting ready to fund education reforms, President Obama cited statistics showing America's students rank 24th in Math knowledge among developed nations, and most of Staten Island's schools failing. In light of all that, the city's DOE decided that things like after-school tutoring, arts programs and sports practices just aren't worth the money.
To save $5 million, they're leaving it up to the individual schools to fund those activities. Tom Porton of the Monroe Academy for Visual Arts and Design told the Daily News, "I feel like the principal has to pass through a toll booth manned by the DOE with a key to the building in one hand and a hungry wallet in the other. In my 40-plus years in this system, I've never heard of something so outrageous."
Though things like PTA and Community Education Council meetings will still be able to use school buildings on the city's dime, they're hoping other community groups using the buildings will pay. "We have to be more fiscally responsible," said DOE spokeswoman Margie Feinberg. "We will work with principals to minimize disruptions as best as possible, given the economic constraints." One parent said, "They don't think they're going to be doing the spring musical at my child's high school." It looks like the good folks of Staten Island will have to look elsewhere for a quality production of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown.