NY Times 01/03/2006: People reject so-called largess of wealthy
On the Op Ed page, a couple of truly signifcant
letters appeared in reaction to a Times
article that I unfortunately missed. But they are stand-alones
the points they make. Donations by private individuals for public
sector projects such as public education, are suspect.
One letter merely questions the efficacy of the
funding. "The influence of all this cash is like the River Platte, an
inch deep and a mile wide," writes Carla Nordstrom, who describes
herself as a "new-teacher mentor."
"Instead of hobnobing with the mayor and the
chancellor, wouldn't it be something if the rich came down into the
trenches with those of us who live and work in the schools?"
The second letter, written by David Campbell of
Brooklyn, makes some fundamental points. It is quoted in its entirety
appreciate the efforts of philanthropists
to donate money to the public schools, their contributions will affect
only a small group of
students, most of them marginally.
I would much
prefer that they use their
considerable financial and "menschy" power to encourage fair tax laws,
equitable financing of public schools and national health insurance,
among other policies that would greatly improve outcomes for our
students and our society.
is not a charity. It is a vital
public good and should be financed as such.
It could not have been better put. Please refer to
the posting on this site about the New
York City Leadership
which similar points are made.