Public school budget cuts spark protest

June 4, 2010 3:28:57 PM PDT
Protestors are sending messages to city and state officials, that they should find a way not to make any further cuts to public school budgets.

Friday was a day of protests where students began outside a number of schools across the city.

At P.S. 41, parents signed a petition against budget cuts. According to Irene Kaufman, a P.S. 41 parent leader, the protestors want officials to, "spend money on the schools, not on pedestrian malls."

School communities are concerned about losing programs they consider important to their children. Laura Williams, the P.S. 41 PTA Co-President, said, "Our arts programs, our music, dance, drama, chess, all the special things that we can provide for our kids are all going to be compromised if we have a budget cut that can't pay for them anymore."

Introducing the announcement that teachers will not be laid off, in spite of budget cuts, Joel Klein, NYC schools chancellor said, "The only thing to do is for the sacrifice to be shared by everyone."

Yet, at some schools, kids and parents are not convinced. Michael Markowitz, a P.S. 41 parent, said, "It still remains to be seen whether the principals, not just at P.S. 41 but throughout the city, will be left with enough money so that they can retain the teachers."

Parents are asking the mayor and school leaders to help. "Our legislators and our mayor need to recognize funding is vital to the future of our city and our schools are cut to the bone, as it is," said Ann Kjellberg, a P.S. 41 parent leader.

Until more funding is provided from Albany and Washington, principals are left to juggle their individual budgets and determine what sacrifices they will be required to make.