With the start of school happening right now (though some schools have started last week or will start next), the problems with funding NYC public schools are put into perspective with two articles Gothamist came across. The Post looks at teachers and administrators asking for donations to buy books, paper, and other basic supplies; most notably, principals have cut jobs, from assistant principals to teaching assistants, as well as increased class size and cut programs in order to work within their budgets. Many parents are getting involved by trying to raise money for the extracurricular activities, but still find it difficult to raise enough to replace AP classes or arts teachers.
At the same time, Senator Charles Schumer says the federal government owes NY State schools about $1.1 billion in money from the No Child Left Behind Acts as well as Individuals with Disabilities Act. The Daily News spoke with one teacher who will personally spend $1000 in supplies for her Brooklyn class. The article also notes that while cause for the shortfall is unclear, the funds need action from local government, so Gothamist can only hope that the Department of Education has is bothering the right people on the Hill about this money.
Today's Gothamist Interview is with Margaret Harper, a NYC public school teacher. She recommends Donors Choose, an online charity that donates money to public schools, as a way to help NYC public schools; her classroom has received five donations from the program.