Programs suffer due to budget cuts

by Ardhys De Leon, staff reporter

Newspaper, Yearbook and Broadcast suffer because of budget cuts.

Newspaper, Yearbook and Broadcast suffer because of budget cuts. Art by Sarah Babadzhanov.

Imagine a school that was making improvement every year, publication classes growing, school programs that keep students busy after school and grade trips that takes learning out of the classroom and into the real world. But that isn’t the case here anymore because of budget cuts.

Last year, the Blazer was available to students as a print version like in any other high school with a newspaper. But this year, the Blazer suffered a major blow because of budget cuts. The school was not able to provide newspaper program with the money needed to print a monthly issue.

“With the budget cut it has become more difficult to produce a newspaper every month. We tried to sell advertisements but it wasn’t so successful. Now all we have is an online paper that is really hard to keep a consistent deadline date,” senior Alexandra Krupa said.

This left the Blazer with one option, moving online. Now, the newspaper runs an online version and releases a PDF issue monthly. The amount of readers has reduced because of this since most of them don’t go on the school’s website (wjps.org), which sponsors the Blazer.  Therefore, a lot students are unaware of the newspaper publication.

“I do read the Blazer less now that it’s online because I used to read it in class but now it’s harder to access it in school,” sophomore Tamia Avery said.

Yearbook is currently facing a similar problem. Last year, yearbook was able to get their pages printed and binding without having to worry much about the cost since the school would provide for this. But entering this school, the yearbook staff was told that they would have to fundraise in order to be able to produce copies in the spring.

“[Because of the budget cuts] not everyone can take pictures at the same time because we only have limited cameras. Also the laptops we get are really slow with the software we’re using so it delays us,” junior Lisbeth Zea said.

In years before, the broadcast publication ran a successful show, live4five was on every day after Channel 1 and The Highlight was on every friday. Now broadcast doesn’t go on live since the classroom for this publication was changed to the basement where the wires do not reach the other floors.

Instead the students in broadcast struggle because they have to film their stories ahead of time for the Highlight on Fridays. This means that if there is news that occurs on Friday, it goes unmentioned.

“There’s no money to buy more video cameras for the broadcast classes, so both the junior and senior class need to share, which makes producing stories difficult.  This is because there’s only around 1-8 cameras for about 20+ teams to use,” junior Rita Cinquemani said.

As seen, budget cuts have affected the school in every department, especially the publication classes. This has led to the publications teachers working together in order to find ways to fix the problems they are each facing in their classes. Some of the solutions the teachers have resulted to are the publications carnival and selling ads.

The publications carnival will be raising funds for the publications through raffles, food, game and P.O.P. bracelets. The money raised will be used to better the programs and fill in the spots for some of the stuff the budget cuts took away.

“All of the proceeds from the carnival will go directly to publications classes. The money will be used for new equipment and publication conferences which will benefit the students [in these classes],” Yearbook adviser Ms. Destefano said.

Selling ads will also help by making the publications self-supported by having local businesses pay for ads, which will be sponsored by each publications. For the newspaper, this means being able to have a print newspaper again.

With these efforts newspaper, yearbook and broadcast is hoping to get back to its original standing before the budget cuts.

“We have to become self supporting, so I am hoping that if we can create a climate where students are accustomed to selling ads like how they have to in the journalism world, then we can grow the program without the need of school budget,” Publications coordinator Ms. Sackstein said.

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