Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Cost of Education

I got into a little bit of an argument today (shocking, I know) with one of the parents from my daughter's class.  Here's what happened...

In "G's" classroom, there is a prize box that the kids get to "shop" in when they've done something especially well.  It's a huge deal for the kids when they get to choose something out of the box. Yesterday, the teacher sent home a note regarding the prize box.  She explained that the items in the box are something that she supplies out of her own pocket as an incentive for the kids to participate in class.  She buys the toys inside from dollar stores, the dollar bins at Target, etc., and she asked if there were any parents who would be willing to pick up a few toys to restock the box.

As I was waiting for class to come out, one of the other mother's sat down next to me and asked if I had read the note.  I told her that I had, and she asked what I thought about the teacher's request.  I shrugged and said that I really didn't think anything of it and that I planned to pick up a few things for the prize box on my next trip to the store.  She gasped (I am not exaggerating) and said she couldn't believe that I would agree to such thing.  Confused, I asked her what she was talking about.  She started ranting and raving about how school is supposed to be free, and she can't believe that the school is asking her to pay for something!  I tried to explain to her that the school wasn't asking us to pay for anything...the teacher was.  I also explained to her that if she didn't want to contribute to the box, she simply didn't have to.  She then stood up and told me that "I was simply a pawn in the school district's game to get parents to pay for things that are our God-given right to be free", and then she walked away.  (I'm not sure exactly where in the bible God talks about school being free, but then again I'm not exactly a religious scholar either.)

This got me to thinking...why are some people so opposed to helping out our schools?  We all know that teachers are paid way too little for what they do.  Why is it such a crime for the teacher to ask for a little bit of help?  We all have the right to choose not to contribute.  I know that money is tight all over, but I also know that if you can afford the Starbucks latte in your hand, you can afford to throw a couple of bucks at the school.

Let's all turn to the chalkboard.  I went to WalMart last night and bought 3 packs of cheap toys. Each pack cost $2 and had 10 toys inside.  3 packs x $2 = $6.00 .  3 packs x 10 toys each = 30 toys.  So that's 30 toys for $6.  That's the cost of a venti Starbucks caramel macchiato, which I love...but I'm much happier having spent the money to help the kids.

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