Produced by Gary Drevitch
SO, DOES THIS GO UNDER THE CATEGORY OF ADDING INSULT TO RESPONSIBILITY, OR ADDING PATERNITY TO INJURY?
The state of Maine recently settled a class-action lawsuit over illegal strip-searches of state inmates; 1,350 people shared $3.3 million in the settlement. But nearly 300 of them, deadbeat dads all, were forced to hand over their shares to cover child-support payments.
WE HAD TO DRAW A LINE SOMEWHERE, SO WE'VE REFUSED TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE TEACHER'S LOUNGE SUSHI FUND
If you're like us, you're a public-school parent shelling out hundreds of dollars to fund teaching assistants, school-supplies, field trips, snacks, and other projects for your child's classroom. And you're probably happy to do it. But Edutopia recently took a look at this phenomenon, and raised all the right questions:
Given how many formerly "basic" programs are now being funded by parents, shouldn't we be looking more closely at what's not in state and federal funding that ought to be? What happens in neighborhoods where parents don't have $1,500 to lay annually so there can be an art program, to say nothing of 2:00 pretzels? And just how far will parents go to improve their kids' schools?:
... The Family School, in Eugene, Oregon, for example, couldn't afford to pay for the extra hours it needed from its part-time math teacher. Instead, parents tapped their own veins -- literally: They held a blood plasma drive. "I suppose the metaphor had some appeal for us -- you have the feeling that this is so ridiculous, this is so pathetic, that here we are," says parent Catherine Flynn, who found herself lining up outside a blood bank in 2003. The blood drive -- which raised roughly $1,500 toward the math teacher's salary -- is just one of dozens of fund-raisers (including organic-spaghetti dinners and family carnivals) that the parents at this school, located in a low-income neighborhood, organize every year to raise $8,000 to $12,000 to pay for extra teacher hours. "These are not frills," Flynn says.
Coming soon: Neighborhood dads lining up at a sperm bank to raise funds for new textbooks, with the catchy title "Seed for Read," or perhaps "The Spill That Pays the Bill."
February 13, 2006 | Permalink |
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