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Schoolbook

With Parents' Support, a Chelsea School Goes Healthy

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Adrian Allannic, a third grader, has learned the lessons of healthy eating at home, but at his school, Public School 11 William T. Harris, he gets to live his healthy habits all day. A growing number of more affluent parents and a motivated principal have brought a new emphasis on fresh foods to the school of almost 700 students in Chelsea, Manhattan. Many schools in New York City have taken steps to provide healthier foods for students in their cafeterias, but P.S. 11 has gone further than most. Elbert Chu's multimedia report shows another way in which New York City's parents are Paying for Public School.

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Schoolbook

A Garden? Chess? PTAs Face Choices About How to Spend Parent Money

Friday, June 15, 2012

As coffers swell -- or as schools in low-income communities try to figure out how to stretch their budgets -- PTA officers and other parents are prioritizing the use of parents' money, and it's not as easy as it might seem. “Sometimes, it’s hard to judge what’s the right thing to do,” said Sue Dietrich, the PTA treasurer for Staten Island Technical High School, one of the city’s nine selective high schools, which raises about $60,000 annually. “It’s hard to know what’s really necessary.”

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Schoolbook

A Parent Warns: A Focus on Fund-Raising Lets the Government Off the Hook

Thursday, June 14, 2012

An active parent and prolific PTA fund-raiser writes: To those of us, like me, who have led the charge and devoted endless hours to school fund-raising through annual appeals, auctions, galas and other events to build the moneymaking machines some PTAs have become, I now caution: our efforts may be detrimental to systemic improvement in our public schools across the city.

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Schoolbook

Parents Pay for School Staff, With Little Oversight

Friday, June 08, 2012

It's an open secret that PTAs in many of the city's well-heeled neighborhoods pay for additional school staff. It's difficult to document the extent of this spending because the Department of Education tracks only a small fraction of parent fund-raising and spending, leaving many groups to make potentially significant decisions with little official oversight.

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Schoolbook

Some PTAs Are Raising $1 Million or More

Monday, June 04, 2012

At a time of severe education budget cuts, some schools in New York City have thrived, thanks to the hard work of PTAs that are raising in the neighborhood of $1 million a year.

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Schoolbook

Shrinking School Budgets Have Parents Filling the Gaps

Friday, March 23, 2012

Parents who are responding to a SchoolBook survey are ticking off their expenses: Overnight trips. After-school programs. School photos. And of course glue sticks and disinfecting wipes. To top it all off, many parents say, they are being asked for a "suggested" contribution to the school fund or to the PTA, or a donation to the school fund-raiser, which can run into thousands of dollars. What are you paying for? Respond to our survey.

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Schoolbook

Conflicts Arise When Parents Are Asked to Close School Money Gap

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

After years of budget cuts, families are reaching into their own wallets more and more to pay for basics, like school supplies, as well as pooling enough funds to hire school staff. Kyle Spencer, a New York Times contributor, and Beth Fertig of WNYC spoke on "The Brian Lehrer Show" about SchoolBook’s effort to collect information from parents on their public education spending.

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Schoolbook

Pay to the Order of Public School X ...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Just how expensive is a public school education? SchoolBook and WNYC are turning to readers this week to get a better understanding of the fiscal state of New York City's public schools and how much and how often parents dig into their pockets for supplies, fund-raising auctions and uniforms. As they say in fund-raising speak, your contributions will make a major difference.

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Schoolbook

Struggling Teachers to Be Scored by Independent Observers

Monday, February 20, 2012

As part of the agreement on teacher evaluations, the city education department and the United Federation of Teachers will implement a evaluation system that will bring independent observers into New York City’s classrooms to monitor the weakest teachers and provide a second opinion to supplement observations by the school principal. Will it work in New York? Reports over the weekend examined elements of the agreement, as well as implementation of similar systems around the country.

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Schoolbook

Suggestion to Tweed Officials: Move Out

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A state senator has a suggestion for creating more classroom space in Lower Manhattan, which by all accounts will continue to need it desperately: move the adults out of the Tweed Courthouse and convert the entire building into an elementary school.

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Schoolbook

PTA Treasurer Admits Guilt and Will Pay Back What She Stole

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The treasurer of an elementary school PTA in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, pleaded guilty to theft charges and agreed to pay back all the money she embezzled. She started by handing over a check for $50,000, and promised to pay off the remaining $32,392.91 over two years.

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WNYC News

Boro Presidents: Parent Panels Need Better Elections

Monday, October 03, 2011

Four of the city's five borough presidents are calling on state lawmakers to force the city Department of Education to reform its Education Council elections, following widespread confusion during this year's vote.

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