Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I hate stupid fundraisers for rich schools

Do you need that wrapping paper? Are we all sick of this but too scared to take on the PTO and the school? You don't want your kid to be labeled as having the parents who don't care about the kids. Does the extra money really make their education better? How much is enough?

Does it make sense to have school fundraisers for schools that have every possible luxury? Last year at Lakewood (I'm going to hell for speaking out against the beloved Lakewood neighborhood school........if I hear one more time how special a place it is I'll puke.....the self promotion of the school by the principal has made me puke) they raised lots of money and at the end of the year they put out something saying there were going to let the kids decide how to spend it!

Okay, as you can see I have a problem. Well, really four problems with all this fundraising.
First, they don't need the money and they don't know it. They don't know how good they have it. Have you seen these classrooms? these facilities? Second, there are soooo many schools that really could use the money. I would bust my butt on these fundraisers if we used the opportunity to teach our kids how fortunate they are and send ALL the money to inner city schools who don't have basic needs. Third, I'd like to know about the relationship between the fundraising sales rep and the people who pick the fundraisers. They boast about making 50% on selling wrapping paper. SOJOCO is making these sales reps tons of money and probably sales rep of the year. People are getting rich off this little effort wrapped up in a school fundraiser. Fourth, they use school time for sales meetings to tell the kids all the cool crap they can win if they sell tons of stuff. The stuff is pure crap but they know the kids love it. They have no reward accepting a cash donation which they get to keep 100% of instead of 50%.

A little story for you. My nephew called me about his fundraiser and I told him I'd didn't need any frozen pizzas (low carbs you know) but I'd like to make a larger cash donation directly to the school in his name. Tears started to form in his eyes as he told me he wouldn't earn the whatever piece of crap trinket he had his eye on if I didn't buy the pizza. I had to buy the pizza!

That brings me to another problem. Where do the kids go to sell this crap? Mom and Dad, Aunts and Uncles, Grandma and Grandpa.......get the picture? This is really an additional user tax for the school. When we were kids they would unleash us on the neighborhood and we'd hit up everyone up and down the street and try to get there before Billy next door got there. It was basically safe and lots of empty nesters got the see cute little kids a couple times a year. It wasn't great but it was better than what we have now. Obviously we can't do that anymore in this day.

The helicopter parents take their kids fundraiser stuff to work and hit up everyone at the old office. By the way, if you are that person and you supervise others who feel obligated to buy your kids stuff, you are a complete ass! Don't do that anymore. The only people who get a pass on this in my mind is girl scout cookies. I don't know why. It doesn't make sense but they have been at it a long time and we all love those cookies (even though the price has gone up and the cookie count down over the years) Anyway, that isn't a school fundraiser...but I digress.

Now another example of a peeve......another buddy calls me and says, "hey, my kid's school is having a golf tourney to raise money and I want you to buy a team for $600" At first I'm thinking, okay, this is better than wrapping paper, gets the kids out of it, and I get to play golf. Then I remember that his kid goes to a private Catholic school. He lives in SOJOCO. We have great public schools. His choice to send his kid there is his choice. I'm not catholic. Why should I help him send his kid to private school? Of course I thought all of this between the second green and the third tee box. I decided that would never happen again. He called the next year and I politely told him I didn't think I could participate this year.

What to do? Here are some thoughts.........I'd like to see the school board prohibit fundraisers unless they specifically say what THE MONEY is buying. I'd like to see fundraisers so rare that they approve each one in advance. I always ask the kids when the come over what the money they are raising goes for and they never know. That is silly. I'd like to see them give families the right to op out and just give directly instead of buying crap we don't need. I'd like to know how much more per house our taxes would need to be to fully fund the schools without fundraisers. Wow, let's get it done and banish fundraisers altogether. Last, they chould just adopt a less fortunate school and give the money to them instead. Oh, oh, oh....I know, let's use the money to give all the teachers a raise. I think we'd all agree that they are underpaid. I want the best qualified, best paid teachers with my kid and expect big things!

Am I alone or do all you PTO types out there love the fundraiser? I'm sure I'm in the minority on this one. I wonder what the schools who don't have enough text books for every kid thinks of our fundraising programs......I bet it makes them sick.

No comments: