PS 9's rise-and-rise is a serious force driving the increasing desirability of living in Prospect Heights. They need the community's assistance ASAP. My kids don't go there (yet) but I'm supporting them now because they're such an asset. See below for details.
PS 9 is a valuable asset to the Prospect Heights neighborhood, and has just had
some unexpected news regarding funding that will require immediate, drastic cuts
unless the neighborhood rallies. Here's URL for the article that was just
published on the PS 9 website. (Text pasted below) Please pass it around to
anyone who might be able to help.
PS 9 Emergency Fundraising Appeal:
PS 9 has lost $360K in funding
On Monday, June 19, PS 9 was informed that the school no longer qualifies as a
high-poverty, Title I school. Instead of 60 percent low-income, we're now at
59.1 percent (a difference of roughly 5 students not qualifying for free lunch).
With that news, the school has just lost approximately $360,000 in federal
funding for the next academic year (2012-2013). Our population is still majority
low-income, to be sure—we simply do not meet the percentage requirement to
qualify for the Title I funds.
Because of this change, another funding program—Fair Student Funding—has kicked
in to make up $200,000 of this shortfall, but the school is still left with an
approximate $160,000 deficit.
Teachers will lose their jobs next week unless we can offset the loss
According to Principal Sandra D'Avilar, the loss of the Title I funding means 4
full-time teachers must be laid off, unless the PTO can quickly come up with the
money to cover the $160,000 shortfall. Principal D'Avilar will need to start
letting teachers know their jobs have been terminated starting this Monday, June
25. The PTO is asking PS 9 families as well as local homeowners and business
owners to donate as much as they are able, before June 25. (If money comes in
after June 25, the teachers may be able to be re-hired.)
How you can make a difference today
Donate! $5, $50, $500, $5000. Whatever you can afford. Donations are fully tax
deductible (The PTO is a 501(c)3 charity) and qualify for corporate matching
funds. For info on how to donate online via credit card, go to
Checks can be made out to "PS9 PTO" and dropped in the PTO drop box in the main
office or mailed to
PS 9 PTO, 80 Underhill Ave, Room 132A, Brooklyn, NY 11238.
Where the money will go
Under Department of Education regulations, the PTO cannot pay classroom
teachers' salaries, but it CAN pay for many other things, such as cluster
teachers, professional development programs, arts consultants and intervention
teachers, as well as school equipment and supplies. Current donations will go
toward all those expenses, so that Principal D'Avilar can free up the funds
necessary to retain our full teaching staff.
Budget cuts in the past few years have taken $500 per student from PS 9, and
this loss of funding will take another $250 per student. That's $750 less per
student. The PS 9 and Prospect Heights communities must band together to make up
this dramatic shortfall and ensure that PS 9 continues to flourish and grow.
Let's make sure PS 9 stays the neighborhood jewel that it is.
PS 9 is an incredible school, with a dynamic principal, a progressive
educational approach, a focus on meeting individual needs and learning styles, a
commitment to arts enrichment, ongoing professional development for teachers, a
state of the art new library, a new playground, an outdoor classroom and garden,
a trout-release project and much, much more. Because of its educational
excellence and its extremely diverse, friendly community feel, it has become a
magnet, drawing new families to the Prospect Heights neighborhood. All this,
with about $450,000 less in fundraising than PS 321 in Park Slope. Let's keep PS
9 going strong and give it what it needs to grow. A great public school benefits
all of us–students, parents, Prospect Heights residents and business owners.
The PS 9 PTO is a 501(c)3 charity. In addition to solving this immediate
challenge, tax-deductible donations can pay for books, supplies, additional
teacher's aides, upgrading technology, reinstating valuable programs lost to
budget cuts, soundproofing the cafeteria and the gym, and more. Please consider
making as large an immediate donation as you can, as well as setting up an
ongoing monthly donation to keep our school great—and growing.