Schools Open

Fall marks the Beginning of the Current School Year. 3 years ago, NYC faced the largest budget deficit in City History when our public schools hadn't yet recovered from the pounding it took 2 decades ago.

For those of short memory, in the mid 1970's when the city faced bankruptcy, then Mayor Koch stole the education of a generation of children by shortening the school day with a 10AM to 2PM schedule, as the classroom sizes soared. Our current Mayor has managed to protect the Board of Ed to a much greater degree. But there is not much left in terms of infrastructure. Much has been said about our current public school situation. In 1992 Eastern District HS rioted. Today it has been divided into 4 specialty schools to some success. There is the Chaney, Goodman, Schwerner Academy which opened in the replaced high School, to promote racial peace. As of 1994, only one quarter of Easterns Students graduated on time. Also replacing Eastern is the High School for Legal Studies, Progress High School, and the School for Enterprise, Business and Technology.

Here are some basic statistics on the NYC Public School System:
Number of Students in the New York City Public Schools   1,075,605
Total Annual Budget   $8.84 billion
Number of Students in the 2nd Largest School System in the U. S. (LA)    680,000
Total Number of NYC Public Schools    1,119
Schools Served by New Visions Programs Since 1989   750+
Number of Countries of Origin of NYC Public School Students    193
Number of Countries in the World    196
Lunches Served Each Day    606,248
Percentage of These Lunches Served Free of Charge    85%
Number of New Visions Schools Graduating Their First Senior Classes in 1997    10
Number of These Schools Which Sent 100% of Their Graduates to College    2
Average Percentage of New Visions Graduates Going on to College    81%
Number of Westinghouse Science Talent Awards Won Last Year by NYC Public School Students, Out of Ten Awarded Nationally    4
Average Spent Per Student in New York City Public Schools    $7,770
Average Spent in Downstate Suburban School Districts    $11,470
Average Spent in Affluent Districts    $15,000
Students in NYC Public Schools with Limited English Proficiency    167,602
Number of Languages in Which Limited English Proficiency Programs are Taught  11 (Spanish, Chinese, Haitian-Creole, Russian, Korean, Polish, Arabic, Bengali, French, Urdu and Vietnamese)

It should also be noted that money spent does not correlate with educational outcome. Midwood HS spent last year $3,776 dollars per student with a 21-1 student teacher ratio, while Thomas jefferson HS spent $7,829 a student with a 19-1 student to teacher ratio. over 80% of Midwood students graduated, and only 33.9 percent of Jefferson. Custodial services at Jeff was also almost 6 times higher. And While Boy's and Girls HS in a mostly Black neighborhood graduated 65% of it's students, Canarsie HS, in mostly White area, graduated only 58.9 percent of it's students. For a good web page on NYC public education, see The New Visions Website. The expected spending in 1997 for public education is to be a shade over $8,100,000,000 or about $1000 for ever man woman and child in NYC. As for private schools, parents are still hoping for vouchers. Maybe with an most of Northern Brooklyn's public schools graduating between 30%-40% of there students with HS diplomers which are worthless, then it is time to examine if the Government should really be educating our children at all. Currently, CUNY has been expected to teach remedial classes of basic reading and arithmetic, supplanting our High Schools as the basic source of education in our city. This is not to say that the city should end spending for Basic Education. It might be time for them to stop teaching it.

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