As we speak, the City Council is meeting with the Department of Education about supplies in city schools, namely how teacher are buying them out of their own pockets. And teachers aren't just buying paper and pencils - they are buying toiletries. Which brings Gothamist to the title of this meeting: "Paper Towels, Soap, and Toilet Paper." What does it mean when the biggest school system in the country can't even keep soap and toilet paper in stock at some schools? The Mayor previously called all this fuss a "tempest in a toilet bowl", but Gothamist has a feeling teachers would rather not buy these supplies. The Daily News and Newsday have had features about what teachers typically shell out and how parents have reacted to requests that they contribute to funding the supplies (parents' reaction in one word: bad).

Our favorite educational reformer, corie, sent us info on the meeting that she got from City Council Education Committee Chair Eva Moskovitz:

On Tuesday, November 9th, the City Council Education Committee will hold an oversight hearing that assesses performance and reviews the Department of Education's procedures for stocking public school bathrooms with basic supplies. "I have not attended a Town Hall meeting where this issue did not come up," Council Member Moskowitz said, "and I want to understand why
toilet paper, soap, and paper towels are not making it from point A to point B."

The Education Committee has received a high volume of complaints on this topic since Council Member Moskowitz became its Chair in January 2002. Signs are frequently posted in school bathrooms that say 'wash your hands before leaving this room,' yet kids often have no soap. The Committee will receive testimony from the Department of Education at 10:00 AM and from parents after 11:30 AM until 1:00 PM on Tuesday in City Hall's Council Chambers. Feel free to contact the Education Commitee with comments or questions about this topic at (212) 788 7393.

If this didn't deal with our city's youth, we'd be laughing much harder, but really, this is kind of insane. Gothamist on kids holding it because they don't want to use their public school bathrooms; that's a totally different matter, but perhaps one that should be the focus of a City Council meeting.