Monday, August 16, 2010

The State of the Education These Days...

Parents commonly get "back to school lists" needed supplies for their children when they start a new year.  As the children age, the needs evolve from crayons to colored pencils to calculators and laptops.  And really, none of this is unexpected or even unwarranted.  Most classrooms provide basic supplies, but if you want your child to have his own set of pens or to not have to share a textbook, many parents will purchase these items.
I like to purchase copies of the textbooks that my girls use, so they can leave one book at home and another at school.  Their backpacks weigh upwards of thirty pounds and carrying books back and forth every day for 180 days seems dangerous to me.  This is a huge expense, but I find it to be worth it.  It is not required -- or even suggested, but something I feel makes their lives a little better.
But, now schools - even with enormous budgets and burdens on the taxpayer are asking parents for supplies besides learning tools for students.  Many schools are requiring parents to send in cleaning supplies, disposable cutlery, paper towels, tissues and even toilet paper!

We are at the point, where the budget for the school system in NH is the equivalent of them asking for a blank check.  We are given a proposed budget and then asked to vote to approve it.  The budget is vague at best.  The next question lies with follow up on that budget.  Since many of the expenses are proposed and projected expenses, what happens when something comes in under budget or if something is not needed after all?
Well, I think we know the answer to that question.
But, who actually monitors the spending?
Each special interest group is hell bent on making sure that their needs are met.  So, in essence, just like in high school the most popular groups "win".  But when this happens, we all lose.

Now, taxes for education are out of control and yet students are being asked to bring toilet paper to school!
Schools have paid "guest speakers", banquets for everyday accomplishments, graduation ceremonies for kindergarten, fifth grade, eighth grade, twelfth grade, paid teacher conferences at hotels, school sponsored trips to Disneyland, Montreal, Europe, South America, field trips to theaters, baseball games and political rallies, "college fairs" held at local shopping malls and the like.
Do you find it fair to be required to pay for these frivolous things?

Few people would object to paying for textbooks, computers and toilet paper.  But, spending thousands of dollars to send a class of 30 to a baseball game or to "celebrate" a six year old completing kindergarten?

Would the administrators who approve this spending agree to do so out of their own pocket, docking it from their own salaries?
Of course not - nor should they.  But, please do not take it from mine.

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