Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ten Things Tuesday

Ten Things on Kelsi's School Supply List (aka: Rant about public schools)

1. Backpack without wheels (Yay! One good thing on the list at least)

2. Dry erase low odor markers - 1 set of 4, Expo (What? Is Kelsi going to be using the white board at school? Nope. Why am I supplying the teacher's dry erase markers? Shouldn't the school be doing that?)

3. Glue stick (They are in 4th grade, can't they upgrade to real glue at this point?)

4. Kleenex-1 box (kids must be using their sleeves these days, when I was a kid it was two boxes)

5. Pencils - 20 #2 sharpened American wooden (So, if I bring pencils made in China will they throw them away? What if they're not sharpened, will they send them home with Kelsi and make her sharpen them?)

6. Pens - 2 red (When I was in school, only teachers could use red pens. Oh, wait...these must be for the teacher too.)

7. Ruler - One metric and standard (You know, every year we send Kelsi to school with a ruler, and she never gets it back at the end of the year. What do they do with them? You'd think they'd have a closet full of them at this point since the kids have to bring a new one every year.)

8. Scissors - 1 pointed Fiskar (See notes on "ruler" above. They must have a closet full of these too. Unless the kids are eating them...maybe that's it.)

9. Erasers - 1 large pink pearl or pencil tops (Apparently not all American, wooden pencils come with erasers on them.)

10. Copy paper - 1 ream of white 8 1/2" x 11" (This is a new one this year. "Hey parents, remember how your child brought home 30 pages of random crap every day last year? Well, we can't afford to do that this year, so instead of cutting back on the Kwanzaa coloring sheets, we've decided to make you guys buy the paper.")

Every year I look at the school supply list and it makes me mad. I am totally fine with buying stuff like pencils...you know "supplies" that my daughter will actually be using. But dry erase markers and copy paper? Red pens? Shouldn't the school provide that stuff? There was one year where they had paper towels on the list too. I've seen the school district's budget, and most of it goes into salaries. Hardly any is left for curriculum, teaching supplies, or building maintenance. I think teachers should get paid fair wages, but I wonder how much of that is going to the teachers, and how much is going to the principals and others "high up". How is it that the schools can't afford things anymore? We're not paying any less in taxes...if anything, we're paying more. The more students they have, the more money they get, so that's not the issue. And the teachers usually end up paying for most of their own teaching supplies, so it's certainly not going there. Maybe the superintendent needs a salary cut?
I am obviously one of those horrible people who don't think the solution is to give the schools more money. Not that I don't want them to have more money for things like art, music or computers. No, I just think they need to show some financial responsibility first.
Ok, that's the end of my ranting.


Taylor said...

Kate was required to bring 8 dry erase markers and Hadley's list had 1 box of Kleenex and 1 box of facial tissues.
What is the difference between Kleenex and Facial Tissues?
Hmmm . . .

Sharyl Williams said...

Wow - how frustrating, especially when you would rather be homeschooling!

Just Robyn said...

This thing is wigging out on me. When I was a kid, in 6th grade, we had to bring a red pen, and it was so we could correct our *own* work. The teachers would just read the answers from her answer key while she sat on her butt slugging down stinky black coffee. This was of course in between times when she was screaming like a lunatic and throwing desks. Seriously. Ahh, the good old days of school.