talk to you to death with my usual editorial intro. You have more important
things to read...like the rest of this report. I set out to do a simple
Pulse of the People piece and got back
an earful! This became more than a regular POP; it's an education story!
Who ever said teens are nonchalant and ambivalent to the world around
them? This reporter came into contact with five dynamic teens who all
had PLENTY to say about the latest budget cut proposal by Mayor Bloomberg.
Without further ado, check out the scoop!
Location: Bronx, NY
Occupation: Student @ NYC Private High School
What do you know of the most recent 1.2 million
Board of Ed Budget Cut Proposal?
The budget is being cut because of the limited amount of money in
the overall city budget...also because of the money needed to provide
teachers with the raise that they've wanted. I've been reading up on this
Bloomberg guy in terms of the new powerful position he is trying to create
for himself. It leaves me wondering what will possibly happen years from
now with all the control this guy may have.
was your initial reaction upon hearing of the cuts as catholic high
school student? The budget cuts don't directly affect your did they?
Well in terms of that budget, I don't think it has really affected
me. I do believe it's unfortunate, however.
Despite that, this is still your city, isn't it? What do you think
the most recent budget cuts forecast for the future of NYC education?
Well I think that they may lose some highly qualified teachers and
I feel that in the long term, NYC education will improve, but in the
short term...it's gonna' suffer a bit.
What makes you think it'll improve in time?
Well I think with time, the economy will get better and thus providing
u think this is truly a matter of economy? The NYC Bd. of Ed
has been troubled for some time now, even when the economy was
think it's more an issue of the current situation than the economy.
I feel that it'll get better when the people who put their children
in the schools have a lil' more control and when teachers have better
qualifications...or when the rich of this city (or some other city)
find some way of making a profit out of our school system.
Why do you rely on external sources [the rich of this city or other
cities] to take care of a problem that afflicts you as a NYC
resident? You don't think as a young person, this is YOUR issue to tackle?
I rather not get into the grain of this topic because my knowledge
on this particular issue isn't as much as it should be...
from what you do know, what would you suggest as a possible solution?
more parents involved. I believe that taxpayers and those parents who
send their children to high school through the public system lack an
awareness of what is going on and/or there are many parents who do not
have the knowledge or the power to make any changes because of obstacles
that may be plaguing them in this city full of issues.
Location: New York, NY
Occupation: Student @ NYC Public High School; Book Author
Have you heard about the cities proposed budget cuts?
I know that Mayor Bloomberg is proposing a 1.2 billion dollar cut from
The proposed cuts are outrageous. The NYC public schools have been in
dire straits as long as I can remember. To propose an additional 1.2 BILLION
dollar cut is preposterous.
You're a senior preparing for graduation. As you embark on your departure
from the NYC Board of Education, you have friends and family members who
are preparing for their arrival. What do you think this budget cut implies
for their future?
Well, it could mean a numbers of things. No matter what, NYC public
schools students will definitely be at a severe disadvantage. As it is
now, there are many NYC students who do not have even have the bare essentials
required for learning such as text books and desks. I cannot imagine it
What do you believe this says about Bloomberg's priorities within education?
The NYC Board of Ed's answer to any problems that arise in the public
school system are to "make it go away." A perfect example of
that is the closing of Martin Luther King High School. It is outrageous
that officials are not just willing to take the time to resolve these
problems that have been afflicting the public school system since the
beginning of time. When the annual budget needs to be determined, the
first thing that is cut is education.
Bloomberg's educational priorities are nonexistent.
I am not aware of the current state deficit so I am really not qualified
to suggest an alternative in terms of determining a financial solution
that can prevent education budget cuts. However, I will say this: NYC
residents and public schools students need to let the powers that be
know that the cuts are unacceptable and that they will not be tolerated.
Once that goal is achieved, everything will be just fine.
Do you honestly believe this? People have been complaining for ages...
Yes, people have been complaining, but they haven't been complaining
EFFECTIVELY. There is a difference. . .
And what would be an efficient form of complaint?
The power of the pen. Instead of gathering people for rallies
and complaining to each other, a letter writing campaign needs to be
established. Students need to write to Mayor Bloomberg and let him know
just what will happen if this budget cut goes through. If the Mayor
is not willing to answer, write to Governor Pataki or Senator Clinton.
If you still do not get an answer, write to President Bush.
Public protests bring issues of concern to a mainstream level of
attention. Do you disagree that this is one aspect of an effective form
I do not disagree. I believe that protesting alone is ineffective.
Something must be done in addition to protesting and rallying. If Mayor
Bloomberg thinks that his chances of being reelected are at risk. .
. he'll listen, or he won't be the Mayor anymore. Lets not forget that
he can be impeached.
Do you believe in the possibility that he's powerful/wealthy enough
to not care?
Trust me; he cares. Money isn't everything. The reason he has that
money is because of his reputation. He may not [care for] a second run,
but what if his first run is cut short? If the people are unhappy with
his leadership, he'll be out of there. He works for us.
. .NYC residents. Lots of elected officials seem to forget that; they
need to be reminded. Bloomberg thinks that because his kids are fortunate
enough to get their education in private facilities that the rest of
us should suffer; he needs to be reminded just how tough New Yorker's
are...especially when it comes to our children's education.