Caroline Helps New York Schools

By Irish America Staff
December / January 2003

Caroline Kennedy recently took on the role of chief fundraiser for New York’s hard-hit public schools.

She was appointed to the role, for which she will be paid $1 a year, by Chancellor Joel Klein, New York City Schools, who said, “Caroline Kennedy’s leadership in the non-profit and philanthropic communities makes her an ideal choice to head our new Office of Strategic Partnerships.”

Kennedy, lawyer, author, and daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, who was brought up with the maxim “from those to whom much is given, much is expected,” said in a statement, “This is the most exciting opportunity I can imagine, and I am truly grateful for the chance to serve.”

New York is one of many states turning to private donors to help fund children’s education. School budgets were cut in 16 states this year and 13 states have already cut their budget for next year according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In New York, hundreds of businesses and nonprofit entities already provide financial assistance and mentoring to city schools, but Klein said more aid is needed:

“The entire city of New York must rally behind the reform of the public school system. The challenge of educating all students to high levels of academic achievement requires that we draw upon all the assets of this great city.”

For Kennedy, who normally shuns publicity, to take on this high profile position shows her commitment to education. She will work three days per week until the end of the year while she wraps up other commitments. Starting next year her position will be full time. ♦

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