Widening the Funding Gaps, One Auction at a Time
January 9, 2008
I skimmed this this op-ed piece on the insidious side of PTA fundraisers over a rushed breakfast this morning, and then read it more carefully tonight.
I always have very mixed feelings when I hear that one of our strongest teacher ed grads has been hired as a science/art/reading/technology specialist in a school in which such positions are funded by PTA auctions, as if students in these schools are entitled to the particularly focused and skilled instruction of “specialists”.
One the one hand, I know that these teachers will give these kids a good sense of the world beyond their subdivisions.
On the other hand, I know that children attending other schools in the same district will bounce in their seats with joy to have science instruction once or twice a month, after the Spring testing season.
A few years ago, I did research in a school in which young children had decided that it was cool to ride the bus. Their stay-at-home moms supported their choice and dutifully put them on the bus each morning. At the end of the day, though, the SUVs would line up in the school driveway. The moms were there not to pick up their now-independent children, but instead to pick up their children’s backpacks so that the young ones would not be burdened by carrying them on and off the bus.
Fiercely competitive fundraisers. Chauffeurs for backpacks. And auditing the PTA’s budgetary bottom line before enrolling one’s children in an obviously otherwise excellent school.
When do we say enough?
Jeanne notices that the link is no longer active. I’ve provided Cliff Notes below in a comment.