Thursday, February 24, 2011

Money Issues, It Never Ends

The schools never fail to astound/piss me off.
This week alone I've been hit up for
1) $15 for a field trip to a conservation area (that costs $2 to go to, I looked it up online)
2) $8 for "scientists in the classroom" (which I'm sure costs money but really, the kids aren't going anywhere and $8 times about 70 or so kids...) and
3) just over $80 for pizza orders to top it off.
Ok, I get the pizza thing, it's a fundraiser for the school, so they have to charge a lot a little more than what the pizza's worth in order to make money for the school, and the kids love it (parents too, since we get a day off making sandwiches). But what is the purpose of fundraisers if the school isn't using the money to help subsidize field trips? At $15 a pop for a field trip to a conservation area that's approximately 17 kms away, you can't tell me that the school is helping out with that? There are two full grade two classes going, plus two other grade two classes that are split (not sure what the ratio is there, but probably more than enough kids to make at least one more full class). So if you take $15 and multiply that by just over 60 kids, that's $900! Ok, I really have no idea how much it cost to rent a bus for the day, but I'm pretty sure they could have made it more cost effective for the parents.
Unfortunately, we live in a more affluent neighbourhood. Well, not unfortunately, we're blessed that way, but unfortunately to this situation. Unlike my household, I would say at least half the school has one parent that stays home all day. And that's at home, without working from home, or working night shifts. At least it seems that way to me.
The other half are doing pretty well. Both parents work, and make good money. There aren't any visible poverty cases here, and you just need to drive around the neighbourhood and look at the houses to see that. You never cease to hear about this family's trip to ______(insert tropical destination here, including other continents), or that family's newest addition/renovation/car.
So the school administration feels comfortable knowing that if they up the prices of field trips/milk/pizza (yeah, milk is now $0.85 per carton; I DO NOT buy it, sorry) that the parents can afford it and will pay it without complaint.
Of course I paid it, but I moaned and complained (to my husband and anyone else that would listen) and cringed as I fetched my purse and a small ziploc bag for the kids to put the money in. I just can't help feeling gouged. $15 will feed my family a really good dinner, and have leftovers for lunch too. And when your husband is making very little money (he tutors at school but that's only a small contribution) and actually spending a lot more money than he is making by attending college full time, and you aren't exactly making the big bucks yourself but still work 10 hours/day without breaks, you have a hard time parting with that money.
So as my little silent protest I sent the kids money in (not the pizza money) in change. All loonies, some twoonies, quarters, dimes and nickels.
Take that school!


  1. What is this "change" stuff you're talking about? LOL :) I have to write a cheque, and make sure the money is there when they deposit it like, say, two months later. I just don't have cash on hand. I use my credit card and pay the bill within three days. I get PC Points for that. And spend on groceries when I get it up to equal $20 (the minimum you can use).

    Anyway, I digress. The schools gouge for gym uniforms, lunches, etc. I did sign A up for a craft club (Monday lunch time for eight weeks) for $5 because that was ridiculously cheap. But I don't sign them up for milk or for pizza/sub lunches. Why should I pay for food that they won't finish eating anyways? She doesn't finish her small sandwich most of the time anyways. He often does, but won't eat the veggies until AFTER he gets home.

    It never ends, I agree. Yet it leaves us feeling guilty that we're not buying the school Cookbook or whatever.

    Give the school the loose change - perfect!

  2. Ha, ha, ha. You tell them. Pennies might have been better.