Council warns of screaming parents if city cuts after-school slots

Protest
Students protested possible after-school program cuts today. (Campaign for Children)

A Council member painted a scene of screaming parents on the first day of school in September if the city cuts funding from after-school programs.

At a City Council meeting today, members discussed after-school programs for youth, which are in danger of being slashed under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year.

Advocates estimate 37,000 city-funded slots for kids are on the chopping block.

Councilman Lewis Fidler warned that parents would be irate to learn on the first day of school that their children’s after-school plans were slashed.

“The screaming, the yelling, the upset would have dwarfed almost everything we have heard,” he said at the hearing. “Let’s not go down that road.”

Bloomberg spokesman Marc LaVorgna said the mayor wants to keep as many after-school programs as possible.

“Can we afford to pay for as much as we would like, no, but we will be working with the Council to ensure we keep the budget balanced while providing as much of the services needed as possible,” he said.

Children flanked the City Hall steps before the hearing to rally for their programs.

Programs like leadership seminars, chess clubs or simply a safe spot for kids to stay until their parents get home are at risk, according the Campaign for Children, a coalition of child care and after-school programs.

One of the people testifying at the hearing was Pobo Ekeforo, part of the chess team at Brooklyn I.S. 318 featured in the documentary “Brooklyn Castle.”

“These programs are so important for our kids, to keep students off the streets, engage in fun, educational activities that are productive,” he told the Council.

Through the after-school chess program, he found his passion, he said.

Others made clear that students may not have a safe alternative outside of school — a representative from Safe Horizon, which helps women and families fleeing abuse, said they recently helped a girl who had been staying in the corners of Penn Station for months.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Police seek mother of slain 11-year-old on involuntary…

Police are seeking the mother of an 11-year-old girl who was accidentally shot to death by her 2-year-old brother two weeks ago on involuntary manslaughter…

Local

Chestnut Hill College student found dead Wednesday morning

A 22-year-0ld Chestnut Hill College student was found dead this morning inside a college dormitory, police said.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Books

Becoming friends with New York City's oldest known…

"The Life and Times of Richard Musto" tells the story, through a poem, of the oldest known homeless man in New York City.

Going Out

Get down and dirty at these neighborhood dives

Philly's got its share of innovative gastropubs and seen-and-be-seen drinking establishments with inventive cocktails served in mason jars. But sometimes we just want a shot…

Movies

Interview: Johnny Depp says he looks like himself,…

Johnny Depp talks about his new sci-fi thriller "Transcendence," not wearing gaudy makeup and wigs for a change and how he's a bit of a Luddite.

Movies

Review: 'Heaven is for Real' tries to be…

The mega-bestseller "Heaven is for Real" becomes a movie that tries to portray wrestling with faith — or at least it tries to try.

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NBA

Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.

Wellbeing

Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.

Career

How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.

Parenting

The 'smartest' summer camps across the country

See a list of summer camps across the country that emphasis learning, while still being fun.