By Jon Cronin, Editor
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley recently announced $2.1 million for the first ever Participatory Budgeting in Schools.
Crowley is funding $100,000 in capital upgrades for 21 school communities in and near City Council District 30.
“This project will not only provide upgrades for local schools, but also give a lesson in civics to our students,” Crowley said. “Nobody knows the needs of our schools better than the students and parents. Ultimately, I believe participatory budgeting in schools’ will empower the school community in a way that has not been done before. And when they participate, students and parents will see firsthand how their vote can make a difference.”
At last week’s Community Board 5 meeting Crowley said, “This is the first of its kind.”
She said that in the high school, the students will vote on the proposals and, in elementary schools, the parents and students will discuss and vote.
“It will be a family affair,” said Crowley. Each school will have three options and will have to choose two.
“There are over 20,000 students in our public schools. This means participatory budgeting will be reaching over one third of our constituency,” she said.
Crowley said this will give families and students a better idea about how the city budget works.
Elementary and middle school students will vote the week of March 24 and high schools the week of March 27. Proposals include capital projects such as:
- Water bottle re-fill stations
- Surveillance cameras
- Smart Tables
- Auditorium renovations: Audio visual upgrades, lighting, curtains and seats
- Gym renovations: floors, bleachers and score boards