I am looking for your opinions and insights based upon a very distressing situation my youngest daughter brought to my attention last week involving a school fundraiser.
As both she and the letter she handed me stated, my daughter was to accomplish chores around the house with the goal of being paid by me for those chores the sum of $20. She would then have to hand the full $20 over to the school to make up for the shortfall in their overall budget which, ultimately, disallowed the kids to go on yet another class trip. Participation was mandatory according to what my daughter told me and the letter seemingly conveyed (however, on a later phone call, my daughter’s teacher altered the word “mandatory” to be “suggested” despite all evidence to the contrary).
This is the kind of scenario that helps make the case for why families shouldn’t be treated as captive audiences for government education officials, but as education consumers empowered to choose the best school for their children and then get involved!
I’d be interested to hear from my mom or any of my other handful of readers if anything like this has gone on recently in Colorado schools. (Of course, they’re out now for the summer.) Are many school budgets relatively tight? Yes. Should weird schemes forcing students to chip in their allowance or chore money be implemented rather than school officials making tough decisions? No.
If this approach is to have any validity at all, it has to come from the parents, not school officials. And it has to be completely voluntary.
Anyway, I’d like to think the New Jersey lady’s story is just another example of the bad PR track record of the New Jersey Education Association, and that their counterparts in Colorado learn the lesson and decide to steer clear.