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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know schools need the money and all, but this is getting ridiculous. Shortly after DS started school (he's in Kindergarten), they sent home a booklet full of the usual fundraising stuff, overpriced chocolate, nuts, holiday gifts and wrapping paper. Figuring, what the heck, we'll help out the school, so we participated.

Not long after we get things sent home saying that they have "Family Fun Nights" at the local Dairy Queen and McDonalds
: and a part of the proceeds from that nights sales go to the school. We told his teacher that we would absolutely NOT participate in these events since I'm not about promoting fast food to my children.

Then they send home a pizza menu to a local pizzaria for the same reason, that nights sales would partially be given to the school. We did not participate in that one either.

Then yesterday, DS brings home ANOTHER fundraising thing where they want you to fill out a book full of postcards with friends and familys' addressed with a little note saying "Help me raise money for my school" etc, etc. You turn the book of postcards back into the teacher and they send the postcards out with a catalog full of stuff they can purchase, I guess. We've already hit up friends and family once in the past two months for a fundraiser, so I told DH I'm not going to participate in this one either.

Do public schools really do this many fundraisers? I'm not only upset that they're doing so many, but apparently the teacher announces to the class about the fundraiser and then gets the kids all excited by telling them all the cool prizes they can get if they sell enough
, so then DS comes home and is all about participating in this fundraiser so he can get some "free" (and ridiculously poorly made) toys. Then I'm the bad guy when I tell him we're not going to participate. I'm sorry, but my son is there to be learning, not to be pushed into being your little sales pawn. I mean, we're not even halfway through the school year and they've tried sucking money out of us over 6 times already!!

I've discussed this with DH, and we're considering just sending a check to the PTA and telling them not to include us in anymore fundraisers.

Okay, vent over
.
 

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Our ps does a ton of fundraisers, too. There's the insanely overpriced wrapping paper, the frozen pies, the cheesy candles, the candy, the oranges, etc. There is a new one almost every week. I don't participate in the vast majority of them. Corporate America can sell it's own crap, and they aren't going to do it on the backs of my children.

I am sympathetic to the fact that the schools are grossly underfunded, and like you, am more than happy to support them. Our PTA is made up of a very tight clique of ladies who have way too much time on their hands. We have suggested a direct appeal to cut down on some of these trashy fundraisers and it went over like the proverbial fart in church. Dh tried to get involved in the PTA and was given the cold shoulder by this group.

A few times a year, I'll contact the person in charge of the fundraiser and ask if I can just send in a donation. Sometimes this flies and sometimes the woman in charge of the fundraiser gives me a hard time about it!

The trying to get the kids sucked into this stuff annoys me to no end, too. I sat my dd down when she was upset about not winning "valuable prizes"
: and we had a long talk about the morality of companies using unpaid child labor to sell overpriced stuff in the name of fundraising. She got it completely, but she's a little older than your child. Now we just have to remind her about it when she comes home all fired up to have us buy $500 worth of lousy frozen pizza.

BTW, in most cases, the teachers have nothing to do with the fundraising. They probably won't stop sending you the fundraising propaganda because they just stuff everyone's folder with it. I've asked the same thing, but the junk still comes home and goes straight into the recycling. I figure the teachers have better things to do than try to keep straight who gets what junk mail, so that doesn't bother me too much.
 

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My dd's ps does very little fundraising. They did do a fundraiser at a Chuck e. Cheese, but that was it. Our PTA is selling t-shirts w/the school logo. But other than that, I havne't seen anything else. I think they do a Wolfgang candy thing once a year and I'm not sure when that will start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Our PTA sells T-shirts with the school logo too (as well as lunchboxes, pencils, backpacks, water bottles, etc...), but they still do all these fundraisers on top of it. Maybe I should call the principal and give my input about them hyping up the kids. If they just put the stuff in DS's folder without getting him all excited, I probably wouldn't have as much of a problem with it because then I wouldn't be letting him down when I say we're not participating.
 

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So far this school year, my kids have had Sally Foster (wrapping paper, chocolate, etc.) to sell, school-logo shirts, Gold-C coupon books, a bake sale, and multiple ice-cream "socials" at Baskin Robbins (where a portion of the $ goes to the school). That's all I can remember, but I agree that it is kind of non-stop sales. We did the Sally Foster thing (I bought a couple things and my mom bought a couple things, but we didn't hit up the neighbors). We didn't do the T-shirts or the Gold-C coupons and we went to one ice-cream night, but I refused to put dds on the sign in list where they could win a free scoop of ice cream every day for a month (who would actually want their kid to eat that much ice cream?!).

I try to participate minimally so that the kids don't feel left out, but it is tough. I don't like the fact that they ply them with junk food as a reward for participating. The class who sold the most Sally Foster stuff got a pizza party; the class who had the most kids attending the ice cream thing got an ice cream party; the class who had the most kids come to the math night bake sale got some other food treat...

It does seem a bit odd to me that they are this desperate for money given that they are getting about $6500/student/year from the govt, we had to pay $32/kid for supply fees and we bought virtually everything that they need in the class -- our school supplies lists were 2 pages long and included everything from dry erase markers to reams of paper. Beats me!
 

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I guess there's no getting around the PTA if they think a fundraiser is necessary--we always end up with LOTS of money to spend at the end of the year--but I think I'd try to make some headway with the "incentive" portion of it.

At our school, we opted out of the Sally Foster "valuable prizes" gig. I think it took one phone call from the woman running the fundraiser. They still talk it up, but there's less pressure on mom and dad to participate.

I much prefer the kids doing activities to serve the community anyway...And another thing, the natural-born salespeople will gets lots of opportunities to sell when they're grown-ups; the other kids are just tortured by this--or their parents do the selling!! Some learning experience
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ChristaN
It does seem a bit odd to me that they are this desperate for money given that they are getting about $6500/student/year from the govt, we had to pay $32/kid for supply fees and we bought virtually everything that they need in the class -- our school supplies lists were 2 pages long and included everything from dry erase markers to reams of paper. Beats me!
The amount of money the school district recieves for each child is not spent wholly on each child. Special ed children cost much more than that to educate and technology is expensive, to buy and maintain, and there are many other expenses that the district must account for before sending money to each school to cover the education of "regular" students. School districts do this differently depending on the district. If your school sent home a supply list that long then they simply do not have any of that stuff in their store room and the teacher feels that stuff necessary in order to teach. If you don't buy it, the teacher has to. The average amount teachers spend out of pocket each year to buy supplies for their classroom is more than $500. You can deduct $250 from your federal income tax but only for perishables, things that are used up that year (not books or things that last a long time).

If your schools are doing this much fundraising, then they are not getting money for basic necessities and probably also for "extras" like teachers and classrooms to lower class size, specialists like art and music, sometimes it pays for extra counselor time, sometimes if pays for technology, sometimes it pays for field trips, etc. and basic supplies.

If the extent of fundraising is making you unhappy, the people to harp at are your state and federal government representatives and senators. School costs have gone up tremendously in recent years in order to pay for special needs students, behavior issues, and technology. It probably costs the district an average of $9000 or more to actually teach each student, much more for special ed. The Federal leave no child behind act mandated a lot of testing and basic curriculum but provides no money for all of that. This costs the school districts more than they used to spend and it is required by law. This sucks money away from other basic needs. PTAs are nowadays making up the difference. It sucks, I think, but this is the reality we live in. Wars get sort of fully funded and the country goes deep into debt but parents have to help pay for their child's "public" education out of their own pocket. And, the fat white old men get richer and richer and pay less and less taxes. What a great country we live in.

Sidenote: I just made a friend from Germany, living over here for a while as her hubby has a fellowship. In Germany, moms get 3 years paid maternity leave and a guarantee that their job will be there when they return and parents don't pay for a single thing for their children to go to school, at any level. She was shocked to hear how much parents pay out of pocket here to raise and educate kids.

Also, you can always just say no. There is no shame in that.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boongirl
If your school sent home a supply list that long then they simply do not have any of that stuff in their store room and the teacher feels that stuff necessary in order to teach. If you don't buy it, the teacher has to.
For the record, I did buy everything on the supply list. We also adopted a manatee through the Save the Manatee Club for dd's classroom which came with an educators guide and a bunch of materials for the classroom.

Quote:
It probably costs the district an average of $9000 or more to actually teach each student, much more for special ed. The Federal leave no child behind act mandated a lot of testing and basic curriculum but provides no money for all of that. This costs the school districts more than they used to spend and it is required by law.
Our district actually was just successfully sued by the parents of an autistic child for not providing adequate services in the schools. They now have to pay $100,000/yr for a boarding school specializing in this issue for the child. They are appealing, but I do see as how special ed kids could cost more, so to speak. I can't begrudge that, but I do really wish that my dd was also guaranteed special services b/c she really needs them and there are so few, if any, accommodations made for kids at the other end of the spectrum.

She is one who will get passing scores on those tests regardless of whether they do anything for her, so she just gets nada in comparison to a kid who will not get the scores that they need. Okay, I won't rant; that's another issue, but one dear to my heart b/c my kid is being 'left behind' by virtue of the fact that her needs aren't federally mandated to be met.
 

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Ours doesn't do hardly any fundraising for the school. The only thing they do is scholastic and hot lunches once a month usually cooked by parents in the Parents Group. This month the meat for the hot lunch was donated so it's free for all kids.

My nieces school does a fundraiser where they sell stuff. I buy the chocolate almonds because I like them and they have thicker chocolate than most you can buy in stores.lol I also got gift tags because they were reasonably priced. This year the stuff in their catalogue was not expensive.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ChristaN
Okay, I won't rant; that's another issue, but one dear to my heart b/c my kid is being 'left behind' by virtue of the fact that her needs aren't federally mandated to be met.
The situation in public schools is just awful. It is heartbreaking that "regular" kids get the least attention and money. I love the idea of public education and teach in the system but I wish with all my heart that there would be some sort of revolution that would change the system radically.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EFmom
A few times a year, I'll contact the person in charge of the fundraiser and ask if I can just send in a donation. Sometimes this flies and sometimes the woman in charge of the fundraiser gives me a hard time about it!

How ridiculous! I have volunteered at my children's school many times during collection time for various fundraisers, to count money and so forth. I have come across fundraiser envelopes with only a donation from the child's family inside in the form of a check and a note stating it as such. Anyone, at any time, can donate money to their school's parent/teacher organization, and they should graciously and thankfully accept any and all such donations.
 

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Our twins are only 16 months old so I do not have real input on this. The school in our tiny town is a joke, the scores are below average than other towns in the vicinity. We have one teacher for every 2 grades. We spend over $9K in property taxes a year and the area we live in is not considered 'hoity-toity.' I have seen a few fundraisers here and there and we do not participate in any of them; the town is sucking us dry as is. As a die-hard liberal, school vouchers of late is starting to look pretty good to me...but that is another story.

Our problem is that in NJ we have over 600 school districts! Everyone wants to be autonomous, every superintendant seems to earn $100K or more. No one wants to merge or regionalize, no one wants to take a crack at alternative schooling methods via chartering (unless you are being threatened by a state takeover). We seemingly do not have the bargaining power for bulk purchasing of books and supplies because we cannot give adequate order sizes to make deep discounts worthwhile. Most likely the vendors made nice hefty contributions to politicians to get no-bid contracts.

Back to the fundraising....

We are in a Waldorf parent/child program and we get fundraisers here, too. Only the parents and children make their wares (baked items, foodstuffs, crafts, auction night, etc.) and they participate in community enjoying various festivals like May Faire or Winter Faire. No corporate interference or influence, all proceeds go to the school. I do not mind a private school whose tuition is relatively low to necessitate fundraisers. Scholarship-wise I might need it in the future.

I went to public school and I remember the days when a homemade bake sale was the biggest event of the year and oh, what fun it was. Why do we have to rely on corporate crap?

Pardon the rant.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ChristaN

It does seem a bit odd to me that they are this desperate for money given that they are getting about $6500/student/year from the govt, we had to pay $32/kid for supply fees and we bought virtually everything that they need in the class -- our school supplies lists were 2 pages long and included everything from dry erase markers to reams of paper. Beats me!

running a school system is very, very expensive. As a teacher, I spend thousands of dollars out of pocket every year because my school cannot provide everything we need and my students' parents can not afford to help.

We do a lot of fundraisers also, but it's a drop in the bucket. It's really sad to me that PSs can't afford basic supplies. We ARE however, forced to spend millions on testing. Thanks Bush.
 

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Just participate in the one or two that don't make you throw up. My kids never sold that Sally Foster crap. Nor do I go to the pizza place just because everyone else does. But we do some of the book fairs.
 

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Originally Posted by mattemma04
Corporate crap is considered less of a liablity than homebaked(or made).I do think the wages for administrative positions should be toned down to help funnel money where it is really needed.

Testing doesn't really prove how well a student or school is doing...just on that day of the test.We do e-public and I read our testing cost was charged to our student PSEA account.Not sure how much they charge per student.Personally I think it should be optional as with the fundraising,but our nation is test happy.

I feel that parents and teachers should not give/spend money on the school/students,because then the schools will never learn to function within their budget.

and what do we do in the meantime? You really think parents and teachers will let kids suffer for years, hoping that the state governments will hear them and increase property taxes? It is NOT a matter of a better use of money, in the majority of cases. There simply is not enough money. Budgets have been slashed so low we simply do not have any more belts to tighten. Teachers and administrators are not paid enough as it is. It is terribly hard finding professional COMPETENT people to work in schools b/c the salary makes it hard to attract really smart college graduates.

I agree wholeheartedly with the test-happyness of the nation. Schools do not have a choice, however, it's a federal law. NCLB is an unfunded mandate, meaning the fed government requires you to spend millions on testing but will not pay a dime. If your tests scores don't go up at an insane pace, your school will be closed down. NCLB is an attempt to close down huge numbers of struggling inner-city schools so that private schools (vouchers) can take their place. The problem there is that private schools get to pick/choose who can come to their schools. Where will the ED (emotionally disturbed) children go? There certainly aren't great private schools opening their arms welcoming violent ED children. Where will students with out of control behavior go? Where will students who simply don't follow directions go? Private schools are not usually willing to take "problem" children when the going gets really tough. We can't abondon these kids by closing all the neighborhood public schools.

But, this is OT. I'm sorry. I can start a new thread if need be. I don't think the majority of the public understands the bind PSs are in right now with NCLB. It's really awful.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mattemma04

If it takes years then I don't think I would even want my child in that school.If the fundraising policies are not acceptable then parents need to get together and get it chaged.Who decides what,how much is sold anyway?


Where do you get the money? There are many PSs that are so poor they can't even afford hand soap in the bathroom. I don't understand where you are suggesting the money will come from, if not from fundraisers, parents, teachers, or higher taxes. What is your solution? There is only so much "waste" you can cut... and often art and music and drama are the first to go.

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Parents already shell out so much for supplies,property taxes,and now a slew of fundraisers.Public school really isn't free at all.We all pay into it one way or another.

Not sure I understand what you're saying here. Of course it isn't "free." The money has to come from somewhere (i.e. government/taxes). IMO schools should be federally funded EQUALLY over the entire country. Why should my students get less than $3,000 per year when suburban districts often get $7ooo or more a year? This WOULD mean a big increase in federal taxes, but a huge decrease in property taxes.

Quote:

As for the NCLB I read that some states are in a national lawsuit to stop it being forced upon them.Perhaps this is an option.There was a book I got recently that went over NCLB act and whether it was helping/hurting.Interesting book.

There are many lawsuits against NCLB, yes. And I fully support those lawsuits. I think NCLB is ... I can't even find the words. Just downright awful and mean spirited.

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I still think the approach for the fundraising(hyping up the kids) is inappropriate.
I frankly don't see the schools having many other options.
My school chases grants left and right, we try to bring in money that way. We try to get corporate sponsors, we try everything we can. That has it's drawbacks as well, being in debt to a corporation. It's VERY hard to get enough money to operate the school in a way the students deserve.

It is sad to me that the US does not value educating all of its citizens. It would take higher taxes to put enough money into our schools to makes sure every kid gets a decent education. There's no getting around that fact.
 
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