The school year began like any other – Rebecca Levey’s twin daughters nervously waiting for their new teachers to herd them into a brand new classroom, parents giddy with excitement, eager to hand off their kids after a long summer break. But Levey, the New York delegate, turned around to head into the building to start her year as PTA (PA) Co-President. What awaits her is the reality of massive school budget cuts and the pressure for her PA to fundraise enough money to close the gap – over $600,000. Levey’s daughters’ New York City public school bursts at the seams with over 1,000 students. Last year her PA forced the Department of Education to admit overcrowding was an issue, and secured a new school put in the zone to help manage the overflow. The PA rose over $600,000 that year through auctions, pledge drives, community events and more to help pay for everything from books and furniture to a healthy school lunch program and professional development for teachers. The budget cuts were so severe last year that the PA will pay for substitute teachers this year as well.
As PA Co-President it’s Levey’s job to see to it that all of these services, enrichments, and programs happen – and get funded. But it’s also her job to make sure they celebrate as a community, creating a place where parents feel welcome and teachers feel valued. She feels that the hard work and sweat equity that parents put into the school cannot be understated. Levey has seen firsthand how powerful parents can be, but she has also seen how desperately we need real help to make good schools happen for everyone, focusing on better school funding and finding a real way to engage parents.
About Parents Involved in Education
Our nation’s economic competitiveness and the path to the American Dream depend on providing every child with an education that will enable them to succeed in a global economy that is predicated on knowledge and innovation. President Obama is committed to providing every child access to a complete and competitive education, from cradle through career.
The responsibility to do what is necessary to give every child a chance to succeed is shared by schools and family. As President Obama said in his State of the Union address, “It's family that first instills the love of learning in a child. Only parents can make sure the TV is turned off and homework gets done.” The partnership between parents, teachers, and schools will help us win the race to educate our kids.
Looking for a way to serve that's right for you?
Serve.gov is a new portal for you and all Americans to find your own ways to serve in your own communities. Just choose whatever interests you – and type in your zip code to see what opportunities our partner organizations have in your area. Americans are putting their own country back on the right track, be a part of it.