We are very fortunate at Parkside to benefit from a caring educational environment with an amazing student/staff ratio addressing the needs of our children. This has made for many smiles and sunny days at Parkside. In the distance, however, there are ominous storm clouds brewing. The current political environment may lead to an uncertain future for specialized programs like Parkside’s. There are proposals out there that threaten funding from the federal Department of Education. There are proposals to eliminate federal laws which guarantee IDEA funding for learning environments like the one we have at Parkside. In New York, the push towards Charter Schools has come at the expense of public programs, and support for tuition reimbursement at special education schools. Future funding levels for our school are not guaranteed.
The way we make up that gap is with your generous donations. Even under our current funding environment, Parkside has to find ways to make up a gap of nearly $19,000 per child. That gap could become even greater if some of the proposals out there to defund IDEA come to fruition. Thank goodness Parkside has kept their priorities and standards of excellence so high! Hopefully they will never have to make difficult decisions concerning staffing and curriculum at the expense of our children’s education.
Unfortunately, this is not the case everywhere. On a personal note, I was a public school special education teacher for twenty years in Virginia. I have been involved in situations where I was trying to support 12 or more students in integrated public school settings with little to no additional support. I have worked in schools where the focus is not on the needs of the child, but on the standardized test scores. I am grateful every day that my child has the opportunity to attend a school as nurturing and thoughtful as The Parkside School. My daughter Maia was struggling in the public school setting, and was having nightmares about attending school each day. Kids were bullying her because of her learning difficulties. I now see her eager to attend The Parkside School on a daily basis. Just recently she was getting frustrated that our Spring Break was so long, and I heard her ask when she would be back in school so she could share her adventures with her classmates and teachers. I am so pleased to have my child attend a school that cares so much. This is why it has been a priority for our family to donate generously to the Annual Fund, and during other fundraiser opportunities at Parkside.
During these uncertain times, make sure Parkside can count on your commitment to quality education for our students by donating to the Annual Fund. This will help keep the high level of academic excellence at Parkside we have all come to expect. Even as storm clouds brew in the background, let us do what we can to preserve our Parkside ray of sunshine!
by Corbin Younger, Parent (Maia, 3-3)
The Parkside School relies on the generous financial support of our community to ensure the individualized curriculum we offer for each child while maintaining our commitment to a diverse student body. Whether you are a grateful alumnus, thankful parent, or caring friend, your support enables Parkside to meet our day-to-day operational needs while offering a thoughtfully designed, comprehensive array of academic and support services.