Working parents soon to face tough choices and even harder times due to significant budget cuts to after-school programs.
New York City was once home to the most extensive after-school program initiatives in the nation, attended by over 85,000 children. Now, due to Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed budget cuts for this coming year, it is estimated that over 40,000 kids living in NYC will no longer have access to after-school programs. This means that a significant number of working class families will have to find a way to make ends meet without the support of such programs as Out of School Time (OST) and Beacons.
What Is Out of School Time (OST)?
OST provides supportive programs for kids in grades K-12 in a safe environment run by trained staff. The programs provide enriching activities, help with homework, and even healthy snacks.
Projected numbers of programs that will be affected by FY2013 budget cuts.
Current FY12 # of programs
# of programs
# of programs to be lost
% of programs to be lost
Source: New York City Youth Alliance
What Are Beacons?
“Safe haven” community centers located in schools, Beacons offer a variety of after-school activities and tutoring, as well as numerous support programs for young adults, including parenting classes, family relations support and tenant education. The Beacons are also open year-round, giving the youth of Beacon communities an outlet other than the streets.
According to an intensive study that was done on six Beacon centers by the Academy for Education Development, “Community residents who had heard about the Beacon had slightly more positive perspective on the social cohesion of their neighborhood.”
Seven Beacon schools have already been forced to close due to the loss of funding. The following Beacons are at risk of being closed due to proposed FY2013 cuts.
|Bronx||I.S.192 Piagentini-Jones School|
|Brooklyn||P.S. 15 Patrick F. Daly School|
|Manhattan||M.S. H.S. 414 NYC Museum School|
|Manhattan||P.S./I.S. 217 Roosevelt High School|
|Manhattan||P.S. 198 Isad & Ida Straus School|
|Manhattan||East Side Community HS|
|Queens||I.S. 141 Steinway School|
|Queens||I.S. 109 Jean Nuzzi Intermediate School|
|Queens||J.H.S. 216 George J. Ryan|
|Queens||M.S. 158 Marie Curie School|
|Queens||M.S. 172 Irwin Altman|
|Staten Island||I.S. 2 George Egbert School|
|Staten Island||Tottenville HS|
What Can You Do?
With nearly a quarter of New York City’s population under 18 years old, it is important that NYC provide adequate funding for programs that provide youth with the necessary outlets of support to succeed in the future.
The Fiscal Year Preliminary Budget has cut youth programs by $41.82 million, meaning that 47% of all OST programs in Elementary and Middle Schools will not receive funding.
So you may be asking yourself, what can I do? You can call or write your City Council member and let them know that afterschool programs like OST and Beacons are vital to families and communities. Students and parents cannot afford to lose these programs. To contact your City Council member, click here.
Contributed by Elise Stukenberg of the Human Services Council