Albany schools try to balance parent-funded extras
Call it the battle of the bake sales.
The city of Albany is up in arms over new district-imposed controls on PTA
cash at each of the city's three elementary schools, with the school board
dictating what parents can - or more specifically can't - buy for their kids
to supplement their public education.
Things like school-day art, music and chess.
It's an attempt to take on a long-running problem: public schools that are
supposed to be equal, but aren't.
Earlier this year, Albany district officials decided it wasn't fair for two
of the schools, Marin and Cornell, to have parent-funded academic extras
like chess, art and music class while Ocean View, their less affluent sister
school, went without. So the district suspended those extra classes.
District officials then began public hearings and formed a task force to
figure out how to balance what parents want for their own children with the
desire to level the educational playing field.
One option would require PTAs to pool donations from all three schools into
one district pot, which would be doled out equally.
"We just wanted to make sure something offered during the school day at one
school is offered at all schools," said district Superintendent Marla
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