Readers: The city should fund schools, not parents
COURIER LIFE, DEC. 13-19, 2019 39
A recent study unveiled the
massive funding discrepancies
between Coney Island schools fueled
by Parent Teacher Association
fundraising efforts, which
one lawmaker said perpetuates
racial and socio-economic inequities
throughout the People’s Playground.
“It’s very concerning to me —
the depths of inequalities in our
school district,” said Councilman
Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island),
who sponsored legislation requiring
education offi cials to release
PTA funding data. “This report
clearly shows that your zip code
does impact the amount of opportunities
for your children and
your school system.”
While some Coney Island
schools rake in hundreds of thousands
of dollars through parentled
fundraisers, others receive exactly
nothing. The PTA at Mark
Twain IS 239 for the Gifted and
Talented, located on Neptune Avenue
by W. 25th Street, raised over
$330,000 last year — towering
over the other PTAs in the neighborhood,
which generally raised
$40,000 or less annually.
Readers had a lot to say online:
While PTAs have been helping
raise funds to account for current
shortfalls, the onus should not be on
PTAs and parents to purchase items
for their schools and fi ll the gaps in
the education system.
Key education resources should
come from school districts’ budgets
and students’ access to a good education
should not be linked to their
parents’ fundraising capabilities. It
should be the responsibility of school
boards and local, state and federal
government to ensure all schools
have the resources they need.
Decades of underinvestment in
education has created unsustainable
situations in so many of our nation’s
schools, shortchanging students. We
have to do better and we must ensure
that all children have access to
a high-quality, well-rounded education.
Their future and our nation’s
future depend on it.
And the idea of PTAs as simply
“fundraisers” is outdated and
doesn’t refl ect the real, meaningful
family engagement happening in
school communities across the country.
PTA is—fi rst and foremost—an
advocacy association. This has been
the case for over 120 years. In fact,
because of the work of PTA, our nation
has child labor laws to protect
against unsafe working practices
and conditions, kindergarten is a
part of our public-school system, hot
lunches are served every day to millions
of children in schools, and a
separate juvenile justice system exists
so children are not tried and incarcerated
PTA’s currency is our powerful,
collective voice—not merely the
funds we raise at bake sales. Our
mission and core efforts remain focused
on advocating—before school
boards, local and state government
and in Washington, DC—for robust
and equitable investments in education
to ensure all schools have the
resources they need to provide a
world-class education to every student
and to make every child’s potential
a reality. !
Leslie Boggs and Lorey A.
I’m sorry, as a parent involved
in PTA’s at my children’s schools
when they were younger, it’s not just
the money, it’s involvement. There’s
usually only 4-5 parents willing or
able to give their time to a school
with over 1300 children. We couldn’t
even get them to come to a meeting.
It got worse in junior high and high
Congratulations to the PTA at
Mark Twain and give credit where it
is due. This wouldn’t have happened
without the support of the parents.
FYI, involvement and showing up
People are mad because parents
of one school worked harder and
smarter to raise money for their
kids??? And that inequality? I do
want the reporter to write about the
total efforts those parents put out to
raise that $208 for the year for their
Q Qing Liang
We are so proud of Mark Twain
school, parents of other schools,
please try to be like that! But instead,
this article is talking about
inequality. Socialists agenda....
I’m pretty active in a PTA but I’m
lucky to set my own schedule. People
working 2 or 3 jobs to stay alive don’t
have that choice. I cut them slack for
not being able to show up or put out
that $10 when we come collecting.
Build spots for seniors!
The city must install handicapped
parking spots around Marine
Park’s overpriced senior center
— also known as the Marine
Park Active Adults and Senior
Center — according to an elderly
activist, who launched a petition
in support of the measure last
“They put up this $13 million
monstrosity,” said 85-year-old
Carl Fischler, referencing the
Carmine Carro Community Center,
which actually cost $16 million
and took a decade to build.
‘It cost a lot of money, and they
didn’t make any provision for disability
Readers spoke up online:
As an 85-year-old senior user of
the center I fi nd it a disregard for my
civil liberty as defi ned in the Federal
Statute... I read this article carefully
and was surprised at Councilman
• A whole new parking lot
doesn’t have to be created they just
need to expand the already there
parks department service area to accommodate
15 to 20 spaces for disability
parking. The grassy area which
is unused is easily available. Instead
of telling me why it cant be done be
creative and fi nd ways to get it done.
• No parking spaces need be
taken from Fillmore Ave if done this
• Parks will never agree
to it? Yes they will if it’s presented
I drive and want to be able to use
the center. I DON’T HAVE SOME
ONE TO DROP ME OFF. AND PICK
ME UP. I’m disabled, not incapacitated.
I don’t want to be put in the
position of loosing my independence.
Furthermore she should
read a copy of the federal and state
disability law. Accordingly I’m entitled
to have access to the facility.
SO FIX THE PROBLEM, or lets take
it to court!
Yes, there is a grassy area on the
Filmore Avenue side of Marine Park
that would be perfect. It’s a long
walk from Avenue U..even if you cut
through the park.
As long as busses don’t start parking
there it will be fi ne. The busses
can drop off and go park elsewhere.
What about bicycles — like y’all
putting everywhere else where people
of color live
It’s a bad development
The city is moving ahead with
plans to turn a publicly-owned
polluted brownfi eld site along the
banks of the Gowanus Canal into
a large residential development
that could bring some 2,000 new
neighbors to the area.
City agencies and a cadre of developers
plan to rezone the longvacant
lot at Smith and Fifth
streets to remove the designation
of the site as a public place — and
allow for more than 900 new residential
units, most of which will
be below market rate, reps told a
Community Board 6 subcommittee
Readers experssed themselves
Aside from the astounding density
of this proposal, and it effect
on public transport, a much bigger
problem exists: the “up-zoning”
(developer-speak for profi t maximization)
comes at the expense of the
neighborhood fabric. Do you see any
28 story towers anywhere near here?
No. The neighborhood is 2-4 story
brownstones, and 1-2 story manufacturing
spaces and artists lofts.
As long as for-profi t development
dictates land use, this trend will
continue, and urban fabric will be
disregarding in favor of profi t. See
Williamsburg for a perfect example
of neighborhood destruction and
They won’t and can’t clean it up.
They just cover it. Look up respiratory
disease rates in that area
compared to the rest of the City. I
wouldn’t live there for free.
Looks great! Great use of the
space and way to get the cleanup of
an old gas plant.
My studio is in the bottom right
of the picture. Am not looking forward
to the construction.
LET US HEAR FROM YOU
Submit letters to:
Colin Mixson, Edi tor, Courier Life,
1 MetroTech Center North, Brooklyn,
NY 11201, or e-mail to editorial@
schnepsmedia.com. Please include
your address and tele phone number
for so we can con fi rm you sent the
letter. We reserve the right to edit all
correspondence, which becomes the
property of Courier Life.
SOUND OFF TO THE EDITOR
LETTERS AND COMMENTS FROM OUR READERS