Res. No. 85-B
Resolution calling upon the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to ensure that all students have equitable access to after-school athletic activities and associated funding.
By Council Members Reynoso, Salamanca, Rosenthal, King, Cornegy, Eugene, Rivera, Kallos, Barron, Rodriguez, Rose, Lander, Ayala and Levin
Whereas, In June 2018, a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of student-led organization Integrate NYC and Black and Latino students, charging that the DOE’s Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL), racially discriminated against Black and Latino students by denying them equal access to high school sports; and
Whereas, According to the lawsuit, high schools with the highest percentage of Black and Latino students have the fewest number of sports teams; and
Whereas, As noted in the lawsuit, students in high schools with a 0-10% Black and Latino student population have, on average, 42 PSAL teams available to them, while students in high schools with a 90-100% Black and Latino student population have on average ten PSAL teams available to them; and
Whereas, The lawsuit alleges that more than 17,000 Black and Latino New York City high school students attend schools without a PSAL team, and Black and Latino students are twice as likely than their peers to attend schools that don’t have a sports team; and
Whereas, The lawsuit also charges that PSAL approves applications for new teams at lower rates for schools with more Black and Latino student enrollment; and
Whereas, From 2012 to 2017, PSAL granted schools with a 0-10% Black and Latino student population 91% of the teams the schools applied for, but granted schools with a 90-100% Black and Latino student population just 55% of the teams the schools applied for; and
Whereas, As reported by the New York Times, Miranda Barbot, DOE’s Spokesperson, referred to participating in sports as “a transformative experience that strengthens school communities”; and
Whereas, The importance of extracurricular athletics for students is widely accepted to benefit academic performance; enhance interpersonal skills, social skills, mental wellness, and a defined sense of community; and to decrease juvenile arrests, teen births, school dropouts, drug use, depression, and suicide; now, therefore be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York City Department of Education to ensure that all students have equitable access to after-school athletic activities and associated funding.