Video: Local Principal Speaks Out About Budget Woes

Staff shortages, underfunded programs and lack of supplies are crippling public schools as the recession forces budget cuts citywide. One local principal, Arthur Forman of P.S. 195 in Manhattan Beach, described the tight constraints faced by his school – one admittedly better off than most – echoing the concerns of his colleagues.

“New York City, the governments of the United States, the world – are in economic turmoil, and that’s reflected right down here at home,” Forman told attendees of last night’s Manhattan Beach Community Group meeting in the auditorium of the school (131 Irwin Street). Forman went on to describe specifics of the cuts, which include losing funding for personnel and programs.

The local principal added that his school has been lucky to have the support of Manhattan Beach residents and parents, which contribute to keeping programs running and morale high among students. However, some schools, he said, are not so lucky.

We heard similar complaints before, including from nearby Leon M. Goldstein High School at Kingsborough, who told Sheepshead Bites last year that some students have “holes in their programs” because they can’t fund teachers for classes as elementary as biology.

Overall, Governor Cuomo cut $1.3 billion to education across the state. In the city, more than 2,600 teachers were cut, as well as cuts to the arts, gym, after-school, and support services. In addition, Mayor Bloomberg recently announced the lay-off of 777 school employee positions in our schools.

Do you have children in public schools? Are you an educator or employee of the city’s public schools? How have cuts affected you, your child’s education or the school you’re connected to?