By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated October 02, 2002 01:00 PM

Continuing the family tradition of public service, Caroline Kennedy was appointed on Tuesday to serve as chief fundraiser for the New York City schools, a new post that city Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein hopes will increase donations for the cash-strapped school system.

The New York Times called the appointment a surprise, and pointed out that Kennedy — whose children attend private school — will get her own desk at school system headquarters near City Hall in downtown Manhattan.

She is expected to work three days a week until next year, when the job will become fulltime, said Klein. Her salary will be the same as Mayor Bloomberg’s: one dollar a year. (Bloomberg, a multi-millionaire, simply returned the usual mayoral salary to the city, which has taken a giant financial hit since 9/11.)

“As I live and work here in New York, I am always meeting people who care about this city and its future and about education,” said Kennedy, 46, at a press conference held in an elementary school. “The schools need their energy and commitment, and I believe I can help channel those efforts to benefit all the children of New York.”

Among her responsibilities, says The Times, Kennedy will assume control of several disparate programs within the Department of Education in addition to fundraising. These include the office of the special adviser for the arts and such volunteer efforts as tutoring and mentoring.