This year, Stuyvesant faces an approximately three percent a budget cut of 469,947 dollars. This will cause various changes with electives, class size, and faculty. Stuyvesant was set to have an approximately 600,000 dollar budget cut when it received its annual budget in May. However, due to an approximately 200,000 dollar budget surplus from last year, the administration rolled over the surplus, resulting in a 469,947 dollar cut from the school’s 17,541,870 dollar annual budget.
With roughly three percent of Stuyvesant’s funds removed, students may no longer be guaranteed spots in certain electives and other courses they opted for.
Assistant Principal English Eric Grossman said, “We had to eliminate the Sophomore Writing Seminar class that we created two years ago which, if the English Regents is any measure, seemed to help many of the students who took it become stronger writers.”
The faculty has already begun to feel the effects of the cut. “A secretary retired, but was never replaced,” Principal Stanley Teitel said. “Teachers on sabbatical were not necessarily replaced.”
“We are losing a teacher. Going into the summer, we did not have enough sections of English [. . .] for Mr. Weil to work with Arista and Big Sibs,” Grossman said in an e-mail interview. “There is still no provision for Arista/Big Sibs.”
The biology department was unable to hire a new teacher to replace Dr. Akinsegun Akintunde, who retired at the end of last year. The Anthropology and Vertebrate Zoology courses, which were formerly taught by Dr. Akintunde, will be taught by Assistant Principal Biology Elizabeth Fong.
Other than Freshman Composition, which increased in size from 25 to 31 students per class, class sizes will be unaffected. The number of students allowed to be enrolled in a class is set by contract by the Department of Education and United Federation of Teachers at 34.
“Freshman Composition began more than a decade ago, with 25 students in a class,” Grossman said. “[This] is devastating,” he said. “As far as my department and I are concerned, Stuyvesant no longer has a Freshman Comp program. I have asked Mr. Wong to change the name to Freshman English, until funding for Composition is restored.”
“Reduced class size was the defining feature of our Freshman Composition program and so, until significantly reduced class size is restored, it would be false advertising to call our Freshman English classes by the same name,” Grossman said. “Naturally, freshman English teachers will still strive to provide the best English instruction possible, but their workloads will be greater, and the students’ experience of the class will be changed.”
Some students are concerned by these changes. “If some teachers aren’t going to be replaced, I think it’s a pretty major impact,” junior Austin Joa said. “Having fewer teachers is always bad, for the students and the school itself.”
“I think that the budget cut really does impact Stuy,” sophomore Sangmee Kim said. “With the increasing acceptance rates and decreasing accommodations, I feel that the budget cut will lessen our opportunities for a greater learning experience, as well as an up-to-date setting for better teaching and learning.”
Other students are not as concerned. “”I don’t think the budget cuts will have much of an effect on the current students,” junior Lipi Thaker said.
In spite of the budget cut that Stuyvesant is set to face, Teitel’s main priority is ensuring that there is “adequate faculty to cover classes,” he said.
In general, “I don’t see any major problems,” Teitel said.