Tuesday, March 05, 2013

For only $5 YOU can send a child to public school.

This is my blog.  I come here once in a while to complain.  It isn't anything personal, ok?


School should be about reading and writing and 'rithmetic.  Right?  Kids should gather at their teacher's knee and listen to stories and make crafts out of dry macaroni noodles and eat (or not) questionable school lunches and learn to survive on the playground.

School shouldn't be about fundraising.  I know I brought home my own share of wrapping paper orders that I was supposed to guilt my non-existent nearby extended family into buying.  But I think it has gotten worse.

Today my 5 year-old (FIVE YEAR-OLD) came home from school and the first thing he told me was "MOM! My teacher says I need to sell 5 pizza cards because our school needs new computers because a lot of them are breaking and we need to buy new ones so everyone has to sell 5 pizza cards, but I need to sell 10 pizza cards so I can get a prize!"

I just had parent-teacher conference for this same child at which I was informed that he needs to be able to write numbers up to 30 and that he can only do it to 12 and that he only recognizes 5 out of the 30 sight words he needs to know.  (For one thing, I know he knows more than that, he just doesn't appreciate being tested.)  So you are telling me that he isn't meeting his curriculum standard and I need to work on it more at home, but heaven knows he KNOWS HOW MANY PIZZA CARDS HE HAS TO SELL.  How am I going to fit in all of this home practice with his, I mean my, door-to-door sales job?

Will he be getting a marketing degree awarded along with his kindergarten diploma?

Here is the other blatant problem.  There are 7 houses on my little section of my street.  5 of them have children attending this same elementary school.  And, oh yeah, there is another little salesperson who lives in this same house.  Because Will arrived home a few hours later and the first thing he said was "MOM! Can I go door to door and sell pizza cards because everyone has to sell 5 and I have to sell 10 so I can get a prize!"

This is on top of the month-long pleas I just endured for box tops because they HAD TO collect box tops because the class with the most box tops got an ice cream party.  I offered to just buy them an ice cream cone, but that was not cool enough.

And the "hassle-free fundraiser" which asked everyone to just go ahead and send in some money and BONUS we wouldn't even have to sell anything for the privilege!

And the Krispy Kreme cards which are for sale in the office.

Now, the Krispy Kreme cards and the pizza cards aren't even a bad deal.  They probably aren't nearly as much of a rip-off as the wrapping paper catalogs I used to drag home.  My problem is that my 5 year-old doesn't have any friends with money.  So clearly the idea is that I will sell them to the people I know with money.  And it wasn't just given out with the instruction to "have your mom and dad look at this paper and see if they might be interested."   Instead they were worked up to know that they NEED to sell them or they won't have computers AND they need to sell a lot so they can get a PRIZE.

I offered to just give him a prize.  But that was not cool enough.

Anyone want a pizza card?


cynthia said...

100% of the time I tell my kids as soon as they arrive home with fundraiser packets to immediately throw it in the garbage. We don't need no stinkin' cardboard pizza, bad chocolates, cookie dough, etc. I explain to them the finances of the crappy deal--how the school only gets 50% of the sales. Then they come to my side--the dark side. I contribute to the no hassle fundraiser and that makes me sleep at night.

Anonymous said...

I read an article in the Livermore paper yesterday which I meant to save for you but forgot. It was on how some court in CA ruled that public education actually had to be free - no fees for field trips, no fees for classes - they couldn't even require your kids to show up with a pencil. I thought the pencil part was a little overboard but thought of people in Utah making installments payments on their kids' school start-up costs. It apparently has had the unintended consequence of having a lot of things canceled, such as field trips since they can't send home a notice that your kid needs to pay $16 to go to XYZ. They can only ask for donations, which apparently don't pour in. They ruled it was discriminatory to charge parents and then embarrass the poor by letting them request a waiver. Anyway, I thought of you. And I always hated the fund-raisers too, as you know, since we had no one to hit up and I wasn't about to send six kids to our four neighbors multiple times each year. I couldn't even get Mrs. Lawson to donate a dollar to the cancer society the year I got badgered into soliciting for them. School equipment? Isn't that what you pay taxes for and maybe they need to raise them there, if they can't afford to equip the schools.

Marc said...

Have you LOOKED at those coupons? Everything (except for a small one topping pizza for free...that will feed one of us...) requires a purchase of a large pizza at regular price! I NEVER buy anything at regular price at Papa Murphy's because they SEND OUT BETTER COUPONS IN THE MAIL than these coupons. And "$4 of every $5 card sold goes to Lakeview Elementary". WHY only $4?? They send out BETTER coupons for FREE in the mail! Thanks for getting ME worked up now! You don't ask a coupon junkie to BUY coupons! :)

ottspot said...

Haha. I didn't see the actual coupons. I was just told that for the $5 you at least got one pizza for free. That is lame. Marc, would you be interested in buying some coupons from me? I should have some good ones after the mail comes on Tuesday. :-)

Marc said...

I just got the coupons today in the Hometown Values. I'm thinking of photocopying them and running a competing fund raiser for my own "school"...

sister #1 said...

I mean... everyone (in my field) knows Utah isn't winning any awards in the public education sector... just sayin'...

Clint said...

Since Karen started homeschooling Lyndon, he hasn't come home with a single fundraiser! I know you're jealous.

Anonymous said...

Magazine sales are way easier. I always filled out the mail in cards with the school administrators mailing addresses. Problem solved. We don't participate in fund raisers.

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