Got kid(s)? Then I ~know~ you feel me. If they've left the nest, I'm betting the
I ~know~ education is horribly underfunded in this country. All public schools have funding issues. From where I sit, small, high performing public schools seem to get the worst end of it; doing too well for most grants, but not well enough to attract big money donors (especially in elementary school where there's no football...)
Since neither I, nor anyone I am personally acquainted with, has a child in private school I can't speak to how it works there, but my fading, painful memories of Catholic school make me think it's pretty much the same.
Then there's my friend C's school. Their PTA does what Candy wishes hers would, a no-frills fundraiser where the kid basically comes home with a bill and they offer a payment plan. Nice in theory, but the school sets the amount. Plus, the last 2 years the due date for first payment has been a week or less after the form went out.
My kid's school does something similar, their "Cash Cow" program; sponsor a cow for a certain amount per family, add more if you have multiple kids at the school, and we'll leave you alone the rest of the year. Nice theory, but since fundraisers are pimped (yes, pimped/hyped/sold) to the entire student body, your kid still gets the brainwashing.
Leaving aside arbitrary requests for money and the fact that it doesn't always work that way... A bill? I was shocked the first year she told me about this. She is in the midst of a divorce, working full time, single parenting 3 kids 7 or under and they want her to donate a 3-figure amount to the school? Granted she lives, courtesy of a great landlord, in a higher-end 'hood, so the school has probably come to expect it, but still... The whole class is excluded from some stupid reward or other if one kid doesn't bring the form back. She sent it back last year with a note explaining that while she was happy to help where/when she could, that figure was completely unrealistic.
The school mailed her "balance due" notices all year! WTF?!?!
My kid's school. Knew we'd get there sooner or later... She's in a charter school that is Pre-K to 12, so, to start, we have issues about inequity in fundraising i.e. the little kids' families do most of it yet the cash gets spread all over the school.
Then there's spacing. In the last 2 years a number of the founding/active families have left the school and with them, apparently, went the organizational skills. We used to do one big fundraiser a quarter. We did NONE first quarter. Now we have Fall Fest--where you are asked to shell out for game tickets, raffle tickets, food, etc. Four days later we have the Bowl-a-Thon.
The person who used to organize the Bowl a thon quit this year, so it didn't happen 1st quarter at all. Couldn't get it any further in this quarter because the bowling alley didn't want to lose holiday bookings. We just got the form a scant 2 weeks before the event.
Then there's the thing that has driven me nuts about this particular annual fundraiser from the beginning: It is NOT a true -thon. The kids have to raise a minimum amount of money in order to bowl, that's it. Not a penny per pin, or any other logical "sponsorship" style. They just panhandle and people pretend like that's NOT what it is and write their name and donation amount on the form.
First year I made my parents and brother donate. Last year, and, probably, this year, I'm just gonna pay the minimum. No way in hell is my kid wandering around the 'hood asking for money & I'll get fired if I do like our parents did and take it to work. To my mind it's not a fundraiser, it's blunt force extortion. Cuz, I'm like, gonna tell my kid she can't bowl with the rest of her class.
The event IS co-sponsored by a local organization who picks up the tab for some of the kids who don't make the minimum, but only in the lower grades. And they did lower the minimum a lot this year (from $25 to $10) to be more inclusive, but extortion is extortion, no matter what cute name you put on it and how cute a kid you use to sell it.
Whew. And I thought I didn't have anything to rant about. How's YOUR week been? And remember, if something is on your mind and you just can't wait for the weekly tirade, email it to me and I'll include your rant in my post with a little link love.