I can tell people have been avoiding me. Around my kids’ school, in local businesses and on the internet. I’m pretty sure some of my acquaintances have been pretending not to notice my attempts to get their attention. I don’t blame them. They know that if they make eye contact with me, there’s a pretty good chance I’m going to ask them for something.
To parents: “Hey — are you going to volunteer at my kids’ school’s Homebrew Fest?”
To proprietors of local businesses: “Hey — are you going to sponsor my kids’ school’s jog-a-thon this year?”
To online friends: “HEY COME TO THIS THING TO HELP MAKE MONEY FOR MY KIDS’ SCHOOL!!! OR ARE YOU ARE SOME KIND OF A MONSTER WHO HATES CHILDREN???!!!”
I would avoid me, too. I bore myself to sleep at night thinking about federal grants and San Diego Unified’s budget cuts.
Despite all the different jobs and passions I’ve dabbled in, I would never have imagined myself as a hyper-involved parent at my neighborhood elementary school. I grew up in a time and place(s) when parents pretty much sent their kids to the local school and got what they got. What we got, in the public schools and Department of Defense schools I attended as an Army brat, included art, music, libraries, second languages and other “extras” not available to a lot of kids these days. If there were any parents raising funds to cover what we considered the basic amenities, I was blissfully unaware of them.
Help Us Raise $100k By the End of May
Thanks for sharing! I am an over-involved parent at a title 1 school and we are working to overcome parent involvement but what do you expect from parents who work multiple jobs to keep their kiddos afloat? I agree that we have to advocate for these schools where parents cannot do the same amount of work, you and I are afforded to do.
Another editorial bemoaning government school funding with absolutely ZERO numbers in. I think Mr Hinds' heart is in the right place but it's utterly baffling why people decide to comment on money issues without talking about the money. What has SDUSD school funding looked like over the last 5-10-15 years? What's per student spending at for SDUSD? Where is the money being spent?
Last year's school budget spent $12,200 per student in attendance. Max class size for SDUSD ranges from 24 (K-3) to 36 for higher grades. Lets call it 30. So each class is generating $366,000 in spending. But wait there's more! Government schools don't want you to know how much they spend so they engage in accounting tricks to minimize the numbers. What I mean is they don't include in their budget:
- bond money
- full cost of pension obligations
- retirement healthcare and benefits
- PTA and foundation spending
If a CEO of a public company published financials and excluded the full cost for retirees they would be subject to criminal prosecution but not so with government organizations. Similarly no corporation could exclude the cost of buildings, but that's what government schools do. This paints an inaccurate accounting of the true spending. The items above represent many thousands more per student each year that is spent.
Government school unions are masters at PR. They know that few things in life are more sympathetic than school kids and they exploit this to its fullest. They will talk about leaky school roofs, teachers having to buy pencils and other emotional ploys to get parents to volunteer and raise ever more money. Who can blame them? If you could get people to come to your place of employment and work for free and donate money, you'd surely do it too.
I hope Trump's administration implements vouchers nationwide because then parents can take a fraction of the $15,000-25,000/student that we spend on government schools and get real benefit from it. Kids will get better schooling and taxpayers will save money.
See: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/fd/ec/currentexpense.asp for data on spending.
Michael, You left out the ability of an organization to take problem employees and hide / park them with compensation instead of dismissing them. Special assignments, rubber rooms or just go sit somewhere for teacher's / administrators that should be terminated.
This same cash strapped public education system uses the tactics you speak of for bonds (more taxes) then in the case of SDUSD turns around and tells the local non-union construction workforce they can't work on the projects unless they join a union.
If the SDUSD school board were a private corporation they'd still be broke but would be facing criminal charges, Bernie Madhoff is kicking himself for not going in to the education business.
I do agree education money is insufficient, there's no way tax dollars can fund the special interest bureaucracy monopoly currently running the show.