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PrincessLeppard
08-24-2010, 01:33 AM
Maybe if so much wasn't spent on muti million dollar schools, parents wouldn't have to buy all this stuff. I just heard about a 500 mil school in Cali.

I wouldn't assume that's over the top if it's in a large school district and is designed well, especially with the technology needs in schools now.

I have never asked my students to bring anything--but I teach in a weird district, extremely poor kids, very wealthy kids, most kids at least upper middle income. I keep a supply of pens, paper, notebooks, folders, binders, whatever for the kids who can't afford that stuff.

I supply my own Kleenex. Maybe I should ask for boxes....

Hmmm.

Prancer
08-24-2010, 01:44 AM
I wouldn't assume that's over the top if it's in a large school district and is designed well, especially with the technology needs in schools now.

I think DickButtonFan was referring to this school: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100822/ap_on_re_us/us_taj_mahal_schools

Which might be an interesting topic for a PI discussion, but I doubt very much if it has much to do with the reasons the rest of us are being asked to send in stuff.


I have never asked my students to bring anything--but I teach in a weird district, extremely poor kids, very wealthy kids, most kids at least upper middle income. I keep a supply of pens, paper, notebooks, folders, binders, whatever for the kids who can't afford that stuff.

I noticed that requests for general classroom supplies like notebook paper and tissues went way down when my son went to high school; requests for exact stuff for academic use, like specific calculators and different tools for projects, has gone way up.

It was cheaper before :shuffle:. But in high school, because most of the classes that demand a lot of supplies are quarterly, the cost tends to be spread out more over the year rather than hitting me all at once in August.

Really
08-24-2010, 01:48 AM
Our school division (and all the ones in Alberta) set 'instructional fees' that are charged to all students. Schools may add some fees, but need to outline what those fees are for to the parents. The instructional fees for junior high kids in our division is about $70, IIRC. This money goes into the school's budget to help pay for things like textbooks (one junior high science text is about $70), photocopying (paper, toner, etc), and the like. We charge for field trips on a trip-by-trip basis -- user-pay, I guess. Sports teams also pay fees that go towards paying for their uniforms and transportation. Most elementary teachers ask students to bring a box of kleenex that go into the class communal stock. For some reason, junior high lists don't include that so I end up buying about 3 packs of 6 or 8 boxes a year. Toilet paper just doesn't cut it for sore noses, even for junior high kids...

As for what I spend, I buy my own writing utensils, bulletin board display materials, posters, wall maps, stencils, games...I probably spend a couple hundred dollars every fall.

As for gifts, I have no idea where the idea started that gifts for teachers were mandatory. To be honest, I'd just as soon parents donated any money they would spend on me to a worth charity. I have many lovely coffee mugs and scented candles, and as much as your kind thoughts are appreciated (I find the idea of the "Christmas bribe" to be rather offensive and would not think of gifts in those terms, if you don't mind), I really don't need any more.

It's obvious there are some cases that are rather outrageous, but please don't believe that ALL teachers/schools are like that!

(I can't believe I'm defending my profession again...)

PrincessLeppard
08-24-2010, 01:49 AM
I think DickButtonFan was referring to this school: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100822/ap_on_re_us/us_taj_mahal_schools


I want to teach there. That looks awesome. :D

JAF
08-24-2010, 02:04 AM
This will tell you how old I am ;) - have four kid and don't remember ever paying any school fees. There where some school supplies bought but only because the kids wanted something different then what the school supplied.

What happens to the parent that just refuses to pay fees or buy products?

Norlite
08-24-2010, 02:12 AM
This will tell you how old I am ;) - have four kid and don't remember ever paying any school fees.


I know my parents nevr had to pay any for me, but my oldest is 35 and I paid them for him once he reached secondary school.

cruisin
08-24-2010, 02:13 AM
We were never asked for things like tissues or hand sanitizers. We got a list at the beginning of each school year and it was for binders, loose leaf paper, spiral notebooks, pencils, pens, highlighters, English and other language dictionaries, calculators, all personal use academic things. Sometimes we had to buy a book that was not part of the approved curriculum, but that was rare. All field trips were paid for when they happened. We got a permission form, which had specific fees on it. We signed and paid. If our child could not go for some reason, or could not go on the bus, it was either not charged or had a portion deducted. Some of the art classes had fees and some the kids either had to buy equipment or rent equipment, such as 35mm cameras/lenses. But, again, those fees were specific and the use was explained. Elementary school parties and middle school parties were all paid for by the PTA. The PTA did a lot of fundraising, from bake sales to fashion shows.

jeffisjeff
08-24-2010, 02:31 AM
We don't have school fees (yet), just school supply lists. I don't mind that, especially when crayons and glue sticks are 25 cents at the Walmart, folders are 15 cents, etc.

What I wonder, though, is whether I will be asked to send in a set of computer head phones every single year. We sent some in for K, but never got them back. Had to send another set in for 1st, but never got them back. And now have to send another set in for 2nd. :huh: What happens to all those head sets?

numbers123
08-24-2010, 02:33 AM
This will tell you how old I am ;) - have four kid and don't remember ever paying any school fees. There where some school supplies bought but only because the kids wanted something different then what the school supplied.

What happens to the parent that just refuses to pay fees or buy products?

when I was in junior high and high school (43+ years ago) we had student activities fee, regardless if you went to school activities or not (supposedly gain entrance to school games, assemblies, etc.). I don't remember any field trips. We weren't so concerned about flu and other respiratory illnesses (or more likely didn't hear about the epidemics). If I needed school supplies (pens, colored pencils, art supplies, etc.) that was just part of going to school.

When my kids were in junior high and senior high school, they attended a school in the inner city. They were required to pay for student activity cards and any school sport event had additional fees to attend. I figured we could afford to buy facial tissues where other families would have trouble paying for any extras at all. even in grade school, I don't remember them having very many field trips - if they did we paid for the trip and sent lunches. But I think the school had xx dollars budgeted for trips (mostly the school bus stuff).

I don't think that it is unreasonable to ask for classroom facial tissues. Especially since everyone is germ aware these days. and when did it become the school's responsibility to provide notepaper, pens, etc. - that is just part of going to school. I think that we donated extra supplies to the office for those kids of need.

Norlite
08-24-2010, 02:39 AM
and when did it become the school's responsibility to provide notepaper, pens, etc. - that is just part of going to school.


No one said it was. No one in this thread anyway.

I think most students have needed and expected to need their own personal school supplies since the dawn of time.

Prancer
08-24-2010, 03:06 AM
What I wonder, though, is whether I will be asked to send in a set of computer head phones every single year. We sent some in for K, but never got them back. Had to send another set in for 1st, but never got them back. And now have to send another set in for 2nd. :huh: What happens to all those head sets?

I always got ours back; they usually didn't work any more, but I got them back :lol:. The teachers were always very strict about labeling and storing the headphones (lice fears more than any concerns about my wallet).

I don't think we were asked to send them in any more after second grade; maybe we had to for third, but never after that.

I went to several schools when I was growing up; I don't remember if I paid fees at all of them or not. But I KNOW I paid fees in high school and more than I pay for my kids now. I buy a lot more supplies for them, though. Given how much things have changed since I was in school, though, I think that's to be expected.

Matryeshka
08-24-2010, 03:15 AM
For the boxes of tissues, I can answer that one--two is not an unreasonable amount. That's how much most of the schools I've taught at required, and only one time did we not run out and need more. Tissue isn't just used for colds; it's also used for school projects...and for students to have an excuse to get out of their seats to get a piece of tissue. The other fees could be anything from workbooks (typically, the school pays a large portion of the cost, and the parent a smaller one--they're quite expensive), school newspaper, yearbook, any guest performances/speakers that come to the school, technology fee, toner for copies, paper for copies, etc.

Not to bring this in the PI realm, but in many (not all) districts, voters have not voted in favor of educational taxes, so the money has to be made up somwhere. I do buy my personal supplies, and would NEVER ask a student to supply me with paper/pens/markers, but, I typically spend about $250 at the start of school on supplies and probably another 300-400 throughout the year.

On another note, I don't like kids bringing in hand sanitizers--they just play with it, and it makes the desk greasy. And I have doubts about it being good for you.



Another time my older son was told to pay $15 to cover the costs of renting a school bus for a field trip. But he couldn't ride the bus because he's in a wheelchair. Special services provided a van free of charge for him, but the teacher insisted he should have to pay as well. This actually happened rather frequently.


Your other issues I agree were out of line, but in this case, I beg to differ. That van was not free--it was paid for out of taxpayers' money. I'm not in any way, shape, or form begrudging the needs of students who have disabilities, be they physical, social, or cognitive, but let's be real here: a lot of money is spent on SPED/504/IDEA/ADA students that will never benefit the vast majority of kids. Equipment that cost thousands and thousands of dollars for the benefit of one or two children ever few years, special sensory rooms, special field trips, extra personnel, special comptuers and dictaphone-type equipment, all paid for with taxpayer dollars that most taxpayers' children will never enjoy. If every once in a while the situation is reversed, then I don't have a problem with it...just as I'm sure most parents didn't have a problem with your son getting the help he needed.

agalisgv
08-24-2010, 04:35 AM
That van was not free--it was paid for out of taxpayers' money. Methinks you missed the point ;)

The bus was an expense that was being charged on a per/pupil basis. Children who didn't attend the field trip were not responsible for the costs of that trip because they didn't help incur additional uncovered costs that day. Similarly, my son didn't contribute to any additional uncovered costs that day either. Unlike school buses which are rented on a per/trip basis, the wheelchair vans are part of an annual contract that costs the district the same whether it's used one day a year or a thousand times a year. The point being there were no more tax dollars being used that day for my son.

Many things in school are provided at taxpayer expense that many children, including my own, will never benefit from. My taxes pay for gym equipment--something my son will never get to use. My taxes pay for schoolyard jungle gyms and gymnasium upkeep that he will never use. He can't use drinking fountains, classroom computers, musical instruments, science equipment, or art supplies, but my tax dollars pay for all that nonetheless. And I assure you we don't get rebates because of my son's disability. We didn't even get a rebate for all the fundraisers we supported for the class trip that my son wasn't allowed to participate in because he was "too complicated." But my taxes and donations sure paid for all that stuff.

cruisin
08-24-2010, 04:54 AM
I don't think that it is unreasonable to ask for classroom facial tissues. Especially since everyone is germ aware these days. and when did it become the school's responsibility to provide notepaper, pens, etc. - that is just part of going to school. I think that we donated extra supplies to the office for those kids of need.

I think the tissues are kind of silly to get worked up about, and I would not object to sending them. But, when my kids had a cold I sent them to school with their own tissues. As far as personal supplies - paper/pens/pencils, absolutely they get provided by the families.


Methinks you missed the point ;)

Ag, you know I love you, and I hate to say this, but I think she sort of nailed the point. There are times when we pay toward things that we do not benefit from. We take turns. The bus went the number of kids on it didn't change the cost. If some kids didn't go, they were exempt from paying at all. But the ones who did paid in full. FTR, my kids schools didn't do that, they allowed you to not pay for the bus if you didn't take it, but that is very unusual.

We had a situation like that with our skating club's precision team. The team was going to a competition, a bus was rented. All of the team members were required to pay a flat fee. There was one skater who's father insisted on driving her, himself. We had rules about the team staying together, but we allowed him to drive her but told him they'd still have to pay toward the bus. He never did. That made them members "not in good standing" with the club. Testing and competing permission became an issue, and it created a nightmare for the kid. The father should have just paid the $50 and let it go. But he didn't and the club stuck to it's rules. I was not directly involved with the precision team, but was on the board. I didn't like that the father and the club put the kid in a bad situation, and actually this was one of the reasons I resigned my position, but....

agalisgv
08-24-2010, 05:26 AM
[There are times when we pay toward things that we do not benefit from. Yes, and I listed several examples of things we had to pay for which we didn't benefit from. I did that because there is a perception that children with special needs are resource sucks, but people don't realize how many resources such children are systematically excluded from using, but whose families still have to support with tax dollars. Nobody seems to take issue with that though--perhaps because the beneficiaries are non-disabled students and it's just assumed they are entitled to such resources. But heaven forbid tax monies be used to provide resources for disabled students.

But as I said, that didn't apply in this situation because the teacher chose a transportation method that was wheelchair inaccessible and then expected us to pay for it. Why? Other options were available that would have allowed us to ride along, but she chose not to do that. So not only did she fail to make appropriate accommodations as she was legally required to do so my son could participate, she wanted him to pay for her not making those accommodations. I don't think so.

And btw, other families who drove their kids to the field trip instead of riding on the bus didn't pay either, but I guess disabled families should be stuck with a special tax for being disabled :rolleyes:.