SchoolCARE, a non-profit organization in Albany, is calling on members of the community to participate in an action plan to deal with the imminent budget cut on local schools. Below is an open letter from the organization:
As our school district — along with the rest of the community and nation and beyond — feels the impact of the economic downturn and struggles to provide quality education with fewer state dollars, it is important that we as a community work TOGETHER and harness parent energy in the most productive way possible for the benefit of all.
There are many things that make Albany schools excellent.The only way to minimize the cuts to these critical programs is to enlarge the pool of resources for all. We ALL have to step up to the plate and provide a financial infusion to preserve them. And this is where SchoolCARE can help.
SchoolCARE is the non-profit organization in Albany raising funds for all school sites and all students grades K – 12 in all six Albany schools. We need to reach every family and ask that everyone contribute in order to preserve the jobs and services and classes our students need. Contributions to Albany Schools through SchoolCARE WILL make a difference in preserving the people who make our schools excellent.
The action plan is simple:
1. Contribute. Start now, a $300 donation can be made in monthly payments of $25 and a $500 donation can be in monthly $40 installments. (A contribution of 380 will roughly replace the state’s per student budget cut. ) Checks can be dropped off at any school or you can donate online at www.AlbanySchoolCARE.org
2. Spread the word. Talk to parents in your students’ class, on the play yard, at the PTA meetings, at the soccer games — anywhere you can. Every contribution counts, especially during a budget crisis.
3. Speak up at the PTA meetings, budget forums, site council meetings — everywhere that budget priorities are being considered this spring. Express your views and help shape the priorities for what SchoolCARE funding can help cover after the district spending decisions are made.
4. Walk the walk and talk the talk. Deliver brochures on the weekend of March 15 to every Albany household; help prepare material for mailings; spend time handing out fliers and answering questions at Open House night; join us in making phone calls to every Albany school family to share information and ask for their participation.
Whether it is class size reduction at elementary school, electives such as music and foreign language at middle and high school, or any of the other items that are “on the chopping block” — passions for these run deep. These are the reasons we chose Albany schools; we see these as essential ingredients of an excellent education, not as “extras”. The best way to preserve these things is to pull together — not pull apart. Let’s channel our positive energy and passion in the most productive possible way and work together to increase the pool of funds available for ALL Albany schools.