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Pacer NYC

Pacer NYC

The Student News Site of Pace High School

Pacer NYC

Participatory Budgeting Process Empowers Students

Pace uses this democratic method to decide fund allocation, benefiting students of all grades.
photo Josue Vargas Espinal
One of the many optical toys the juniors saw on their trip to the Museum of the Moving Image. The praxinoscope was invented in France in 1877, the creator was Charles-Émile Reynaud.

In February, students voted in the participatory budgeting process for more school events and activities. Pace uses this democratic method to decide fund allocation, benefiting students of all grades.

As a result, students enjoyed more trips, including a museum visit for juniors and upcoming museum trip for the seniors in June.

The City of New York gives money to schools through the city’s participatory budgeting program, allowing the people in the school to decide how to use the money. Pace received $2,800 this year.

The seniors decided what the choices were going to be because this is their last year in the school and they have the most experience in the school. With their help the school hopes to grant a better experience to the next people of pace.

The Covid-19 pandemic caused many school trips and extra activities to be canceled.

The seniors narrowed their choices to the following: improve the school store, purchase tech equipment, supply students with reusable water bottles, renovate the library, have better musical equipment, have more plants in classrooms, or purchase e-sports equipment. The two choices that received the most votes this year were to have more school trips and buy more athletic equipment.

The voting consisted of students ranking their choices, from their most favorite to their least favorite choice. The vote took place before midwinter recess.

Every student voted on the matter, except for the freshmen. This happened because of the limited amount of time the school had to make the decision and the limited time that the seniors had to ask everyone to vote.

Rafael Gonzalez, a senior, who is part of the music club, voted for an improvement in the musical equipment. He said that “the club is missing necessary equipment.” He also explained that the equipment was not in good condition.

Jacob Paz Solano, another senior, was worried about the environment and chose reusable bottles. He said, “We have to have more sustainability, so it is easier to look out for the environment. We take things for granted.”

Bringing in the opinions of new students of the school is also important to help the people of Pace understand what people first see when they come in.

Stefan David Jr, a sophomore, voted for e-sports, expressing that he is good at games and that he “likes the competitive side of gaming.”

Likewise, the two teachers who had the most involvement in the process also had different opinions on how the money should be spent. Ms. Collins, who teaches government and economics, opted for the choice of reusable water bottles explaining that many students wrote about the problem of plastics for one of her assignments, prompting her to say, “It is scary that plastics are everywhere.”

Mr. Carballo, the other teacher who was involved, also teaches government and economics. He opted for the e-sports equipment, wanting a gaming room but suggested, “Have the space only be used by upperclassmen, before or after school.”

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About the Contributors
Alexandre Joannis, Reporter
Alexandre Joannis, a senior at Pace High School. He is part of the ACE Mentor program, which is a program for learning about architecture, construction, and engineering. His first language is French and he is focused on preparing for college.

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