Founder and Commissioner of the Small Schools Athletic League
email: davidrosen1@gmail.com

The Public School Athletic League (PSAL) is responsible for providing funding to New York City public high schools to field interscholastic sports teams. Their mission, as stated on the PSAL website, is to “coordinate interscholastic competition for all New York City public High Schools”. The PSAL coordinates these competitions by granting and funding interscholastic sports teams to public high schools.

This report, The Inequitable Distribution of Sports Funding by the PSAL, examines the distribution of interscholastic sports teams throughout New York City. The findings show that the distribution of teams, and thus funding, is inequitable. It also reveals that students of color and students from lower economic classes are being neglected by the PSAL. This inequitable distribution of PSAL funds is likely a result of the proliferation of small schools over the past decade and the PSAL’s inaction in responding to the new landscape of public high school education in New York City.

This report presents data that supports the findings and provides recommendations to bring interscholastic sports opportunities to all students in NYC public schools. It also discusses the role the Small School Athletic League (SSAL) has played over the past two years in bringing interscholastic sports opportunities to the small schools of New York City.

Table 1 from Report. Created by David Garcia-Rosen
Table 1 from Report. Created by David Garcia-Rosen

Key Findings

  • The PSAL is not meeting the interscholastic sports needs of the majority of small schools.
  • The PSAL has created flourishing sports programs at some schools at the expense of others. 
  • There is unequal distribution of PSAL funding for interscholastic sports teams between boroughs.
  • An inadvertent result of the PSAL’s inequitable funding of interscholastic sports programs has been that students of color have been disproportionately and negatively impacted.
  • Another inadvertent effect of the PSAL’s current system of sports funding is that students from lower economic classes are being negatively impacted


  • Immediately fund the Small School Athletic League (SSAL) and expand it rapidly to meet the needs of the small high schools throughout New York City. 
  • Create a funding system that provides all schools with interscholastic sports funding, and allows the principal to determine which leagues best suits the needs of their student-athletes.
  • Create a permit system for all school athletic facilities that opens up the use of these facilities to all schools.  Many small schools lack fields and courts.  NYC DOE fields should be shared in the same way the public parks are shared and permitted.
  • Expand the use of all NYC DOE fields and courts to Saturdays and Sundays.

Sign the Petition

Students who go to small high schools should not be denied the opportunity to participate in interscholastic sports.  Funding and expanding the Small School Athletic League will remedy this inequity and bring interscholastic sports opportunities to students at small public high schools.  Consider signing the petition (click below):

Chancellor Walcott: Expand Sports Opportunities for Students at Small HS’s by Funding and Expanding the SSAL

email: davidrosen1@gmail.com