Teams on Chopping Block

September 4, 2018

As a result of budget cuts, Jersey City (N.J.) Public Schools made significant cuts to sports, including removing all freshman sports teams, golf, and bowling.

According to nj.com, the district had a $70 million shortfall earlier this year, resulting in $1 million less for athletics. In addition to the cut sports teams, there are fewer assistant coaches.

Maryann Dickar, a spokesperson for the district, said it was "tough" to cut the budget.

"Each decision has been made with an eye to ensure that we provide the most and best that we can for our students within our shrinking budget," Dickar said. "Despite the tough financial decisions we have had to make, the district is committed to continuing the progress we have made over the last few years."

Ariana Ortiz, who is a senior this year, said that because there are fewer assistant coaches, the teams have a limit to how many girls can join, and she worries about the girls who can't make the teams.

"A lot of the girls on my team have nowhere to go after school," she said. "If they don't do something productive, they're on the street."

On Thursday, the board voted to have its finance committee see if it can find $1 million in the budget to restore the cut programs.

"The board will review these changes ... to see if there is any scope of rollback or cost sharing with other bodies for the preservation of these programs if possible," Thomas said.

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