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Money for Nothing

What do they see when they see you or me
You know who I’m talkin’ about
Those cats in the designer slacks
Sittin’ on fat stacks of cash
That they stash in bottomless pockets
The State of NY is holdin’ out on the
Schools in the city of the same name
It’s a shame that our claims to fame are
Inadequate resources and being pawns in this
Political game—of chess
While those kids in their houses and green grass
Get in their expensive cars so they could namedrop
On what celebrity went to their school when and why
We are jumpin’ on buses, trains, or just plain walkin’
To school,
To discuss the who, why, and where of each other and
What and how, the do’s and don’ts of society
Our priorities are not to build sports complexes and
Never-ending hallways
But to build rational, analytical minds to
Interpret and regurgitate the world’s taboos and
Insecurities right in its face.
But now there’s hope on the horizon
Government has reprioritized and itemized its agenda
This new era for education is in full Bloom-berg
Yeah, the mayor’s takin’ over the schools
Let’s see if he has the right tools and isn’t just
Puttin’ academic jewels in our eyes
Let me run down some facts and stats so
You can let them react in the back of
Your minds
About $9,000 is spent on us so we can get a
“Sound, basic education”
For every 9 grand here, some kid in the suburbs
Gets 15 or 16
In our schools, there’s an average of
4.9 computers
In the suburbs, the number hovers around
How are we supposed to get that education if
We don’t even get the same resources
This forces us to make tough choices on where
Our money goes
And then they blame us because we can’t pass the
That’s why we gotta stick together
Because the only people that are gonna look after us
Are us
Hatin’ on ourselves and each other sends the message
That we aren’t worth it
Spending money on us doesn’t matter
But we have to prove to those fat cats
Sittin’ on them stacks of cash that
Every teen, no matter in Westchester or Avenue D
Deserves a shot at the all-American dream


Emily Genao

Emily Genao attends East Side Community High School, and is a member of Youth Researchers, a group of students from seven schools investigating funding discrepancies between urban and suburban public schools across New York state.


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