Dear Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein,
Our school, Brooklyn School of Inquiry, is suffering greatly due to the recent cuts in city funding for schools made by your offices. We are a citywide gifted and talented school, the first to open in Brooklyn. We, along with the rest of the city schools, suffered a loss of 1% of our budget, which amounts to $9,070. That would be devastating alone, as our school receives no Title I or Title III funding. We rely solely upon Fair Student Funding, which is where we took our second hit. We lost $20,000 of the $36,000 owed for Fair Student Funding, as our new school has nine new enrollees since the start of the school year. We received money for 100 students and we now have 109 students attending BSI. That brings our small, brand new, underfunded school to a total recent loss of $29,070. This is roughly 3% of the total school's budget for this school year. Being a small school means we take a very big hit proportionately.
We are a brand new Parent/Teacher Organization, and cannot supplement the funds lost to the schools. We have just started our fundraising efforts and cannot supply the much needed lost monies as our sister citywide gifted and talented parent organizations can do at this time.
Gifted students are a tragically underfunded special needs population. Our students require differentiated instruction in a constructivist setting, to reach their fullest potential. Why does the city place our children in special schools and then refuse to provide the funding they so richly deserve and need? Every year, during the mid-year adjustment, those schools who are owed money historically received their portion in February. We are being punished not only for being a special needs population that does not merit additional funds from the state, but we are also being punished for having a fiscally responsible leader.
We urge you to retract this cut and come closer to properly funding the special needs population. It will help our kids to excel and shine and will show that DOE and the city care and support gifted students. We are without a librarian and full time office staff. We have a beautiful facility that needs books and supplies. Most of all, we have children who need your help. Do not let the gifted students that the DOE has recognized go without the proper funding. Restore the money now.
Brooklyn School of Inquiry Parent Teacher Organization