Parents and administrators are scrambling to try to close a $160,000 shortfall in P.S. 9’s budget for next year after learning Monday that it will be losing its Title I funding.
Over the past decade, an increasing number of professional families have been sending their children to the Underhill Avenue elementary school and this year the school’s percentage of low-income students moved to 59.1 percent, just under the 60 percent Title I cutoff.
With the change, P.S. 9 loses $360,000 in federal funding for the 2012-2013 budget, but gains $200,000 from the Fair Student Funding program.
That leaves the school with a budget hole of about $160,000, which Principal Sandra D’Avilar said would be made up by laying off four teachers, according to P.S. 9 PTO member Faye Rimalovski.
The PTO is hoping to raise the $160,000 needed to keep the teachers before they’re laid off on Monday morning, June 25.
While the PTO is not allowed to raise money directly for teachers salaries, they can fundraise to cover other budget items, Rimalovski said.
Does Rimalovski think the parents can raise that much money?
“Not within the next couple of days,” she said. But if the parents can raise it over the summer, it’s possible that the teachers could be re-hired.
But if any PTO can raise the money, it would be P.S. 9's. This year they’ve raised thousands of dollars through , , the annual and other events.
And they're off to a good start, garnering nearly $8,000 in the first 24 hours, most of it though P.S. 9's online donation site. Donations have been as small as a few dollars to a few gifts of $1,000, Rimalovski said.
“We’re just going to try to use every avenue possible,” she said.