For City Parents, Frustration Over Rising Cost of Public School

Kyle Spencer:

Ellen Goldstein, the mother of first-grade twins at Public School 130 in Brooklyn, recalls with a twinge of nostalgia certain items that came home from school this year. There was the all-about-fish book, the Popsicle picture frames and two tissue-paper roses for Mother’s Day — all made by her sons.
What Ms. Goldstein, 46, will not miss plucking from her children’s backpacks are the seemingly endless requests for money and supplies that also came home from their small school on the border of Kensington and Windsor Terrace.
It began in September, Ms. Goldstein said, when she and her 6-year-olds lugged in $300 worth of construction paper, index cards, markers and crayons requested by their teachers. Soon, she was regularly receiving Scholastic booklets and permission slips for trips to bowling alleys and pizza parlors that required $5, $6 and $7 to be stuffed into envelopes. The school also organized two photo drives, including one in which she was sent key chains and bookmarks with images of her children on them.