Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A book, a bucket, a shovel, and a magnifying glass

I don't know if people in other areas of the country have to deal with the widespread fundraising that public schools do. The elementary school alone has two fundraisers per year, and I have been hit up once by the middle school already this year. I do wonder how the PTA really feels about this prostituting of children by sending them out door-to-door in this age to earn money for their classes. What does it say about the education system?

I don't remember a single door-to-door fundraiser that I was sent out on as a child. We had book fairs, but those were at the school and the only people hit up were the parents. "Gee, mom why can't I have this 5-page Strawberry Shortcake sticker book, it's only $8?"

At the beginning of the school year each child is sent a list of materials to buy for that school year. The local stores also have copies available for each class. I picked one up last fall, just to take a peek of what a 1st grader needed. The thing was three pages - the first page was the individual child needs, which was way overkill in my mind. From notebooks, to loose paper, to construction paper and glue. I thought that they were making sure the school system no longer had to provide educational supplies at all. And, then the other two pages supplies that needed to be purchased for the 'classroom'.

I've spent less on my children, even buying some pieces of curriculum, than I would have buying materials for one child's classroom. And, yet, they still send these children around begging for more - or the parent takes the form to work so co-workers can feel guilty if they don't buy something.

All this so that the children can have a 'quality' education????

I've thought about handing one of the poor children that show up on my doorstep a nature identification book, a bucket a shovel and a magnifying glass and telling them to go outside. There is your quality education.




Dy said...

A lot of it is about nurturing the Collective. Those "individual" items don't go into a child's pencil box or desk, like they used to. They go into a community pantry. (We refer to it as the communist pantry.)

I always pick up those lists in the fall, and am always bowled away by what they expect the parents to provide - over and above the money provided by property taxes, endowments, corporate grants (just ask how much your local Target, Wal-Mart, K-mart, grocery stores, Box Tops for Education, and sharp-edged soup can drives have donated in your area - the numbers are staggering). And yet, still they cry for MORE MORE MORE.


Sorry, hot button for me right now. The high school (and, I believe, an elem school) hit by the tornado in Enterprise, AL is now rallying funds to have the school "rebuilt". Not repaired. Rebuilt. Bigger. Better. Faster. More dohickies. More flashy things. More bells and whistles. They don't even have the numbers back yet from the insurance co., and yet a bill went to the state legislature for $79 MILLION dollars from state funds to "help" pay for the repairs. And a rep. who asked them to wait on the insurance monies and reconsider the amount was bashed without mercy because "children DIED over this!" What???

I guess what they're really upset over is that all those children won't be bringing office supplies for the school next year. That's really, really sad.


KathyJo said...

Heh. Amy, I definitely agree with your answer of the more quality education. And I'm snickering over Dy's "communist pantry." Oh, good grief, I'm going to be using THAT one. :D

A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.