District 20 schools are facing “lean times.”
“I hope there’s not going to be another [budget] cut. How much more can you skim?” said Laurie Windsor, president of the Community Education Council (CEC) for District 20, which spans Bay Ridge, Fort Hamilton, Borough Park and part of Bensonhurst.
“If there is another budget cut, I really don’t know what the schools are going to do or how they’re going to handle it. It’s lean times,” she added.
The state has proposed a $1 billion cut in school funding. Each New York City school district would reportedly lose about five percent of its funding, for a total of nearly $500 million.
With budget cuts, parents often fear that schools will be forced to eliminate art and music programs.
“The first things to go out the window are the extras. That’s the arts programs — drama, band, orchestra, chorus, so many activities for enrichment,” Windsor said.
But these programs are the backbone of a child’s education, she reasoned.
“Reading and writing are important and necessary,” Windsor noted. “But a lot of parents honestly believe that for a well-rounded education, it’s not just math, writing, English, social studies and science. The arts are necessary for a well-rounded education.”
Windsor credited local elected officials with providing funding to District 20 schools to help keep art, music and extracurricular programs afloat.