At Two City Schools, Parents’ Money Leads to Two Very Different Experiences is a new article at The New York Times’ Schoolbook that certainly speaks to a post I wrote last week, The Nuances Of Parent Fundraising For Schools.
Here’s how it begins:
In February, when Ronnie Najjar, the principal of Public School 89 The Liberty School in Battery Park City, decided to buy several $600 iPads for lower-grade classrooms, enroll teachers in a Common Core curriculum training program and hire part-time office and recess staff members, she turned to her PTA.
Within days, the parent group cut her a check for $18,000.
For parents at P.S. 89, who tend to know a lot about QuickBooks, budget balancing and the intricate workings of burgeoning nonprofits, it was a prime example of how things work at their school.
“We’re here to support Ronnie,” said the PTA treasurer, Gabrielle Steinfels, 46, who has a child there in third grade and in recent years helped the PTA raise over $200,000 each year, putting it at the mid- to high end of parent organizations in fund-raising. “That’s our job.”
At Public School 305 Dr. Peter Ray in Bedford Stuyvesant, where the PTA raises less than $5,000 a year, things work differently. There, more often than not, the administrators find themselves helping parents by doing things like collecting money for winter coats for homeless students, and this year, raising money for a family that lost all of its belongings in a fire.
“People make sacrifices when they can,” said the assistant principal, Bruce Copeland, about donations from parents. “But everybody here is struggling.”