Friday, August 10, 2007

School Money

As you probably gather, I don't know a heck of alot about school and how it works. My daughter is currently initiating me on the ups and downs. At first I was excited. I would get to do homework with my daughter and plan out her snacks and meals daily (and help out when I have the opportunity at school). The one thing my silly little brain didn't take into account was money and just how much the school would be asking for...

First I should mention, the institution our daughter attends is a private one that we pay for and it isn't cheap.

Ok first I have to buy things that coincide with being in a private school: uniforms. We forked out over $300 smackers for this, then we had to buy the school supplies, lunch box and sleeping mat, so that was another $100 or so, we'd figured on that too.

We get a letter in the mail asking for $25 to "buy supplies to help the class". Of course I'm confused since I just bought the school supplies in the first place, what supplies exactly do they mean and how will it go toward benefiting Arwen? We passed on this. Then we went to the parent/kindergarten meeting. Here we had to write a check for $9.95 to cover magazine costs for the year. Then we were asked to donate $10 or more to the PTO and then were directed to a board that had "items we'd like to have for the school" which had to be purchased in bulk at pretty high prices. We paid the magazine fee and passed yet again.

Then today I get an email asking for money again and this time people to volunteer for the lunch room (they've asked this numerous times in each email) and also someone to volunteer as head over sports and planning. So I've started to wonder...

Where exactly is the huge amount they are being paid PER student to attend this school going? At first I assumed naturally it would pay the staff and costs for the building, etc. But shouldn't some of those funds go to fund items and staff the school needs? Isn't it somehow wrong to expect people to continue to dig deeper and deeper into their pockets as well as their time after forking over checks monthly?

Perhaps it's due to the fact that this is a Catholic School and most of the families belong to that parish. Many of them are very well off (this is apparent when I see all those new shiny vehicles, chanel sunglasses and coach purses galore) and I suppose digging into their check books isn't an issue. For average Mom of 4 here it is however.

I want to do what's best for my daughter and her school yet I just can't justify paying all that extra money for things the school should provide (at least partially) from the money they receive from tuition. I'm fairly certain sadly that this trend asking for money won't stop in the near future.

I should also add, I would be more than happy to volunteer my time but have been told the school can't use help when you have one or more toddlers in tow. I suppose I should welcome myself to the world of being a school Mom huh?