Statement, Public Hearing, 1st October 2014, Peekskill Middle School.
My name is MaryAnn McCarra-Fitzpatrick. My son Brendan attends Woodside Elementary School and my son Conor attends Peekskill Middle School.
It grieves me when people, who profess to be Christians, sin against our children through their venal behavior, in seeking to divert funds from our district. It is not right or just.
My husband and I moved to this community, in part, for the schools. We do not wish to see class sizes go up while our property values go down. It is not right or just.
It is unacceptable that a minority seeks to impose their will upon the majority of parents, who do not wish to see tax funds diverted from our public schools in order to support a de facto Catholic school. If you want a Catholic school in Peekskill, by all means, found one, and charge tuition, but do not expect to be allowed to create an insular, exclusionary fiefdom and, in the process, destroy our children’s schools. It is not right or just.
Assumption cannot seek to balance their budget on the backs of my sons and their classmates. It is not right or just.
Our founding fathers, quite rightly, had legitimate concerns regarding the separation of Church and State. No public funds, no tax dollars, should be allocated to financially support, either directly or indirectly, any religiously-affiliated organization. The applicants may claim that this is not intended to be a Catholic school, but, take a good look at the applicant and the trustees. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is a duck, regardless of what verbal gymnastics are used in the charter application. It is not right or just.
My son froze, last winter, in their school building, which is not ADA compliant, and had to keep his coat on during CCD classes because no heat was put up for the classrooms. Are the taxpayers of Peekskill to be compelled to pay thousands of dollars to bring a building up to code which has been allowed to fall into disrepair? It is not right or just.
As the mother of a 14 year old in a residential special education placement, who has received speech and occupational therapy since two years of age, I know what an ADA compliant building looks like. This isn’t it. In addition, for any child who is in danger of eloping, as with many autistic children, this property is not a secure one, and would be a danger to the health and welfare of children with such disabilities.
Parents of Peekskill—raise your voices and let them be heard! Let Albany know, in no uncertain terms, that this proposed charter school would serve only to damage our schools and, thus, our community. It is not right or just.
531 Union Avenue
Peekskill, NY 10566
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McCarra-Fitzpatrick MaryAnn (MC1989)
[JR: Agree or not, you have to admire spunk. Personally I’m for the Separation of Education and State. Completely. But applause to our fellow Jasper for speaking her mind.]
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