The following open letter was read aloud at the New Rochelle Board of Education meeting on Wednesday October 5, 2016. A hard copy was delivered to the Board Clerk.
Dear New Rochelle School Board & Superintendent,
I am a parent, an engaged member of the community, and a loyal tax paying citizen of New Rochelle. I am writing to express concerns of mine and many others regarding a new youth football league that seems to have received preferential treatment by the New Rochelle School District.
New Rochelle has a rich educational and athletic history and tradition. This community has wonderful city schools, and youth sport leagues made up of dedicated volunteers that have served the youth of this community with distinction for decades. McKenna Field at New Rochelle High School is the top field in the New Rochelle school district. It has been very difficult for youth sport leagues in this city to gain access to McKenna field. It is surprising, to say the least, that this new football league, that has been in existence for mere months, was able to secure a permit to use McKenna field. Fairness is a fundamental value in our society that we strive to teach our children through the experience of competition and sports. Our city school district that is funded by our tax dollars must operate with excellence and fairness towards all the youth in our community. It is simply wrong to favor a particular league because it is supported by influential individuals within the community or School District.
This appears to be the case when it comes to this matter. Because certain individuals in key positions in the School District or community became advocates for this new upstart football league, they were suddenly able to leap frog over more established youth sport leagues, and gain access to McKenna Field. Furthermore there is no indication that this new league was charged for the cost and use of the field, concession stands, security, or custodial services. If this rumor is true, this is truly an outrage.
The resources that are acquired by the tax dollars of hard working homeowners in the School district are intended to benefit the school system. If the school district chooses to allocate resources to the youth sport leagues in the city, it needs to be done in a fair manner to benefit all the youth sport leagues in this city, not choosing favorites. This type of preferential treatment only serves to foster division in our community. The divisive atmosphere of favoritism can negatively impact the youth in our community. What is the best outcome for the children, should always be the focus of those who are entrusted to lead and direct resources of the great school district of New Rochelle. A great concern of many of us, is it appears that in this matter, fairness and transparency were not applied.
By raising the issue to the Board of Education and Superintendent, it now creates an opportunity for those in leadership to put fairness and transparency back in the forefront thus ensuring that all youth sport leagues in this city can share equally in the collective resources of the New Rochelle School District.
We hope this matter will be fully investigated and that the School District will not show preferential treatment to certain youth sports leagues due to political connections but rather have a program to share resources in an equitable manner for both access and costs to all the youth sport leagues which use school facilities. Thank you for your time.
Coach, New Rochelle Youth Tackle League
Member, Concerned Parents for Fairness in Youth Sports