Back when the news broke about a PTA treasurer on the Upper East Side stealing $185K from his kid’s school, I jokingly sent the article to the group chat I have with the rest of the PTA board because I’m not sure our PTA has made that much in the existence of the school. And while it’s no joking matter, it is yet another reminder of the disparities in NYC schools, even down to how much volunteer parents are able to help raise. Steven Evangelista, a PTA member in NYC shared similar sentiments in a piece over on Chalkbeat.
While one NYC public school’s PTA reportedly raised over $2 million, others in that very same district raised a mere $1,000. And while our PTA funds at my daughter’s school in the Bronx have gone toward things like graduation expenses and buses for field trips, Evangelista shared that one parent at his daughter’s school was donating $5,000 to pay half the cost of installing new secure doors after a concern with school safety. So Evangelista raises the question —
What is our responsibility to each other? What do people with privilege owe those with less? And with 39 schools in our district and over 1,200 schools across New York City, what exactly is “our community” in which we seek some level of equity?
So what say you? Are there ways that PTAs at these schools can or should help other schools across the city? How can parents in lower income areas better fundraise for their children’s schools? Chime in over on Twitter @The_Unmuted.