Thursday, August 20, 2009

Middle School Orientation

Here again I will moan and groan about schools. Sorry. Truly, I am.

Today was my son's middle school orientation. Today I was informed that I needed to buy two school issue gym uniforms ($20 each) and rent two lockers ($8) and that I should just go ahead and join the PTSA, but since it is a PTSA, my son should join too ($8) and that all of my son's teachers had wish lists too. Things like electric staplers and pencil sharpeners are in high demand. I was also informed several times over how much each teacher contributed to each of their classrooms out of pocket last year.

Did you all think it was tacky that I mentioned the price of the gym uniforms and such? You did? Good. Me too. I thought that it was extra tacky that I now know how much money my son's new teachers ponied up for their dry erase markers.

I am sorry that our school district is broke. Really. I am. Is this a new issue though? Haven't I been hearing for years all the excuses for my now having to provide things like soap and paper? So, how is this year different? If we continue to provide what the district does not in the way of funding, are we not enabling them to continue to cut our funding? Where does this end?

I don't really fault the teachers for being frustrated that they are having to give back some of what little they are being paid to do their jobs. I do question if it is necessary. I mean, is that expensive science experiment really something that has to fit into the curriculum? Can we not as a school district figure out the right way to tighten the belt? For example, I mentioned the schools being repainted. I don't know about the average Joe, but, I do not repaint my home when I am worried about making basic ends meet. I do put it on the list of things I want to do, but, then I take the grocery money and buy food with it...not paint rollers. Right now, our district is spending where it should not, cutting corners where it jeopardizes the safety of the children they teach, and encouraging the parents to pick up the slack.

What is the answer? Where does it end?

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