Dec 11, 2017
A NYC Councillor wants the city’s PTAs to disclose their memberships and fundraising in an effort to showcase the divide between rich and poor schools, sometimes even within the same school district. A recent report indicates the issue is hardly confined to NYC: will other cities follow suit?
NYC is a tale of two (or more) cities when it comes to income disparity and access to quality education. It’s no surprise then that wealthier school districts tend to fundraise better than their poor counterparts, a Center for American Progress report shows.
NYC City Councillor Mark Treyger wants to add a measure of transparency to the wealth divide: He introduced a bill to the City Council Monday that would require the NYC Department of Education to publish an annual report tracking the membership and fundraising of New York City’s Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs). Treyger says the annual reporting would highlight hidden discrepancies in how NYC schools are funded.
According to the CAP report published last April, New York City is home to some of the wealthiest PTAs in the country. District 3’s William Sherman School PS 87 in the Upper West Side raised nearly $1.6 million in the 2013-14 fiscal year alone. That’s for a school where only 9% of the 902 students came from low-income families. In that same district 52% of the students qualified as low-income. A PTA for one of the district’s poorest schools—PS 191, with 78% of its students coming from low-income families—reported only $11,000 in its coffers for January 2016.
Councillor Treyger’s effort comes at a time when public schools nationwide, and in particular in New York City, could be hit with crippling funding cuts by the US Congress’s proposed federal tax plan.
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Rich PTA, poor PTA: New York City lawmaker wants to track school fundraising https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/ny/2017/12/11/rich-pta-poor-pta-new-york-city-lawmaker-wants-to-track-school-fundraising/