2002-02-16 / Sports

Ode To the A Hold On One Second Board of Ed

By Elio Velez

By Elio Velez

While reading the Daily News last Sunday, I was trying to comprehend the Board of Education's proposal that would create super sports programs.

The proposal will develop schools that cater specifically to one or more sports. They would recruit the best young athletes by using an admissions exam. I like the idea because when I applied for the Bronx High School of Science, I knew the tough restrictions were placed to bring in the best students for a specific field.

Before I make a glowing endorsement, there is one major factor that I have a problem with. It's the fat cats at the Board of Ed that I have a problem with in running the program.

Where's the money coming from to make this idea possible?

Mayor Bloomberg has been stating for weeks that the upcoming budget cuts he will present are heartbreaking and difficult. The Board of Ed will get less funding from the city but the Educrats believe that they always have an endless hole of money to use. The Board received almost $11 billion dollars from the city and that doesn't seem to be enough. If I got $100 bucks from the city, I'm using pie charts to effectively spend that money. It seems to me that the Board of Ed follows Miss Cleo in foolishly bungling the money.

Classrooms don't have enough chairs, chalk and books. Schools are being asked to cut after-school programs that keep students and students/athletes off the streets. Students/athletes don't even have an effective mode of transportation to get to games, and coaches pay out of their pockets for meal money and even uniforms.

I was talking to a coach from a Brooklyn high school that told me of the endless horror stories in trying to maintain his program. As we talked, I felt his exasperation in dealing with arcane eligibility rules, inaccurate grade reports from his own schools and trying to get enough players to field a competitive team.

It saddened me but it made me keep hope. This long time coach would still teach and coach in a school that is not one of the major sports programs such as Wagner, Lincoln, George Washington or others. What he wanted was a better method to teach skills that will make most of these kids better. That's all he wanted and the bureaucracy in every way restricts him.

I was not shocked when a report came out that Board of Ed members get perks such as limos, $400 beepers/email and other expensive perks for a part time job. I wasn't surprised when the School Construction authority went into debt in losing money for schools that are needed to for districts that do not have enough classroom seats.

It's so funny when in Far Rock HS, students try to stay warm in a school that I hear that until last year, still needs coal!!! This is not 1902!!!

This is related to sports because the student/athletes who take the time to perform in many activities are in the words of Malcolm X are being railroaded and bamboozled. They should get the best services. They get barely half of that and that is a shame.

Mayor Bloomberg will announce his cuts for all services in this city and ask for patience in the rebuilding of New York City. The Board of Education is not equipped to run a system that is out of control and cannot be held accountable by the citizens of this city. It's time for drastic action, and it starts with Bloomberg dismissing the Board of Ed and if you don't believe me, ask a student-athlete. They should be the first people to get advice from in ways to save the system.

Quick Thoughts:

Kobe Bryant is unhappy at his hometown Philly fans for booing him at the All Star Game. I don't' feel sorry for Bryant when he said in the Finals that he's "coming to Philly to cut their hearts out". The fans don't have to forget that he made that statement. Bryant should stop harping on it and win another championship. That cures most ills.

Snowboarding is an Olympic sport. In reality, it's an ESPN Winter X game.

Thank goodness for pitchers and catchers.

MLB in running the Expos is a joke. When do the Yankees acquire Vladimir Guerrero for hotel expenses? If MLB owns the team, they'll most likely explain it's in the best interests of baseball to sell the best players for peanuts. Until next week, Peace!

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