This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
by Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks
On Friday, Greenfield Elementary principal Dan Lazar emailed parents asking for $613 per student to cover operating expenses based on the districtwide $304 million budget shortfall.
In the story I wrote covering this development, I included a list of five other schools that have, at some point, used private dollars to fund staffing positions.
The article, however, failed to explain the exact nature of those funding requests and who exactly did the asking. Some readers said they thought the article too closely associated the five schools in question to what has happened at Greenfield.
Here I hope to clarify and sharpen those distinctions:
At William M. Meredith
Like parents at Greenfield, parents at William M. Meredith were asked to make a per-pupil donation to cover budgetary shortfalls. Unlike Greenfield, the request did not come directly from the principal (Cindy Farlino). Rather, it came from the Meredith Home and School Association "in conjunction" with the principal.
Farlino did not respond to my request for comment, but NewsWorks was able to obtain a copy of the letter sent to parents in June.