By Patrick Donachie
A Queens councilwoman is taking the “participatory budgeting” process into the schools in her district, and has allocated more than $2 million to fund capital projects for 21 school communities.
“This project will not only provide upgrades for local schools, but also give a lesson in civics to our students,” Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale) 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.”
Crowley allocated $2.1 million for the new budgeting process, with $100,000 allotted for each school. The schools will all have three proposals on the ballots at their schools, and will vote for two projects. The elementary and middle school students will vote during the week of March 20, while high school students will vote during the week of March 27.
Some of the proposed projects include funding for surveillance cameras, smart boards, laptops, smart tables and auditorium and gym renovations.
The ballots will be counted after March 31, according to Crowley’s office.
Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdona