I’m writing to provide an update and address some questions that have come up about our Parent Teacher Association (PTA)’s fundraising.
Our PTA hopes to raise and spend roughly $545,000 (i.e., about $550 per student to support our 1000+ student body) this year. Our goal is to sustain the many enrichment opportunities our students and teachers benefit from throughout the year. Examples of this include in-class programming (i.e. chess, ballroom dancing, the Metropolitan Opera, NYC Ballet Tales), professional development for staff, learning resources (i.e. library, technology program, music program), and field trips.
As you may have read in recent articles published by The Wall Street Journal and posts on blogs such as ChalkBeat, last month the Department of Education published data on funds raised by public school PTAs across New York City. It was reported that our PTA raised $2.1 million during the 2018-2019 school year, a number significantly higher than the PTA’s budget. This is because the PTA is required to report to the Department of Education all money that is received through the PTA, including any fee-for-service operating costs.
Our PTA after-school program includes more than 30 enrichment programs and a robust childcare program. It employs almost 80 individuals to serve the 600+ students enrolled. The operating costs of the program are included in the overall report to the DOE, thus resulting in the $2.1 million figure in the DOE published data.
Many other schools outsource after-school programming to third-party vendors. As a community, we determined that managing our own after-school program makes it more accessible and responsive to the needs of our families.
Although our PTA must combine the official reporting of the $1.5 million PTA after-school program budget with the $545,000 PTA budget to the DOE, these two numbers are separate. All money collected through our Direct Appeal and other PTA fundraisers is spent on educational resources and programming for all students during the regular school day. All fees paid to our non-profit after-school program cover the costs of offerings for students who stay after-school.
We are incredibly fortunate to be a part of a community that is willing and able to invest in additional enrichment, educational resources, and professional development that enhance every child’s experience at P.S. 58.
Katie Dello Stritto