Monday, September 13, 2010

Why Not

Every shred of support for our elementary Parent Teacher Association unraveled last year after we failed to give the desired minimum dollar amount (Please, do not confuse the word "minimum" with "suggested".) to the association's one check fundraiser on supply night. The mommy in charge of collecting funds at back-to-school night helpfully shared the information that a donation under $35.00 was insufficient for my child to receive the school spirit pennant all the other little duckies were going to have as a thank you for their families' extortion gifts. Whatever. Thinking about the nicety of having the kids' Christmas and Valentine's parties fully supplied by the P.T.A. (rather than trying to get a classroom full of donations coordinated only to have two dozen cupcakes bite it as one's 8 year old tries to wrestle them out of the car), and there was a willingness to consider giving more than previously allocated.
Then our P.T.A. Board decided to send home communication clarifying the importance of each family's minimum support. The letter that came home stated plainly that our school needed to raise $XX,XXX because another local school had raised as much, and our school ought to be able to raise more than their school because we are Pleasant Suburban Elementary. What?! That letter home was read with a mouth that dropped wide open and eyebrows that shot into the hairline. And reread with no less incredulity. Support our students? Absolutely! Want to show appreciation and assist in providing both necessary and sometimes extra resources for our school's dedicated teachers and staff? Yes! Pay for the engraved memorial rock in the front yard of the school, yet another puppet show, and attempt to show up another school's budget just because we might be able to do so? Um, no. Yuck.
This year, we gave those P.T.A. dollars above and beyond a basic membership to purchase school supplies for another local school where the cost of items like pencils and folders would compete with families' already under-funded food and shelter budgets. Because that is a use of our discretionary educational funding that we can cheerfully give. Our kid just knows her class will be the one that doesn't get a pizza party for 100% compliance participation in the one check fundraiser.

1 comment:

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Okay, that doesn't sound like it's helping school spirit. It sounds MEAN! Come on over to happyland elementary--there are NO prizes, no incentives to donate or not!