MANHATTAN — City Councilman Ben Kallos is fighting for legislation that would create universal, free, after-school activities for all New York City public school students.
“After-school activities are literally thousands of dollars a year and that’s just money most families don’t have,” Kallos told PIX11 News inside City Hall Tuesday.
“New Yorkers are working longer than anyone else in the country, and that is leaving kids who get out of school at two or three o’clock unsupervised.”
The City Council’s Youth Services Committee held a hearing on universal after-school programs Tuesday morning, grilling the city officials.
“We continually want people to know about the programs that we do have.” Susan Haskell, Deputy Commissioner for Youth Services said.
Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal responded, “I’m pretty familiar with the after-school programs and the summer programs in my district and I want to be clear there are no slots available, none.”
Under Kallos’ proposal, all public school students, ages 3-21, would be offered the opportunity to attend free after-school programs. The price tag for the expansion could reach $250 million Kallos said.
After Tuesday’s committee hearing, a study will be commissioned to further examine the cost.