Monday, March 9, 2009

Parents Pay for Public School Perks?

After years of listening to parent's commenting:
  • "Why do we have so many school fund raisers ???"
  • "Why do I have to pay all these activity fees ???"

My questions are:

  • Why are parents so hesitant to give money to their school's PTO ?
  • Why do parent's complain about school fees for "special/choice" curriculum and activities? (ie beyond what is needed to get kids into basic jobs, tech schools and universities) Or parking ?
Most of us modern middle class parents happily spend $5,000, $10,000 or more a year so that our brood can be in soccer, hockey, dance, piano, gymnastics, baseball, basketball, performing arts, etc. Now this is fun and good, yet the reality is that Billy and Suzy are not likely to make a career out of these activities. If they even continue them into High School....

However, you can move your child's school from good to great by giving $400 per child per yr to your local PTO. Imagine the technologies and other advantages you could provide all of the kids. Now that's an incredible value !!! Especially since it is tax deductible for most of us !!!

In my case, if on average ZLE parents wrote a check for $200 per child per year, the PTO would be able to invest over $100,000 per year in the school. And for PMS that would be $250,000+. Now, that's a lot of SMART Boards, computers, etc.... And it is a lot easier and faster than arguing for additional state funding... So get out your checkbook now and make an investment that will have an immediate payback while making you feel good !!!

By the way, remember this is PTO proceeds... So you will need to buy $800 worth of wrapping paper, or better yet just write out a check... And though I bought a trip to Arrowwood resort for $200+, the real charitable party was the one that provided the gift certificate. (ie I'm getting something of value for my money.) So thank the businesses and individuals that donate those goods and services.

For more on Pay for Perks, check out this blog string..
Speed RSI (or "shifted to pay for perks")

1 comment:

R-Five said...

We did our share of such activities with our children. Nobody should expect even public school a block away not to have some out of pocket expenses. But usually these were pretty specific to our kids.

Raising funds for the schools is different. Let's use playground equipment as an example. As a taxpayer, I think I have a reasonable expectation that if needed, the District will pay for it. The PTO should not have to.

If the PTO does, are we enabling poor facilities management by the district? Where does that money the District should have spent now go? A green roof? A new car for the Superintendent? Another consultant? Rolled into the next teacher contract?

I'm all for the PTO raising funds. But the PTO should also make sure it directly supports their children's success, in a creative way that even a financially stable district could otherwise not consider.