Of course, in a perfect world, were the illustrious State of California to have such a requirement (standard?), they'd foot the bill. Not a perfect world, though, so parents foot the bill. At Youngest's school, the PTA chips in a hefty sum for tuition for the teachers, the stipend for the teachers, gifts for the high school and college kids who act the part of cabin leaders for free and the transporting of the kids (but not their luggage) to and fro. Depending on how much is left after that, the PTA covers some scholarships. If there is any money left after that, the PTA funds chip away slightly at each student's bill.
all some about three handfuls of the fifth grade parents and students do a lot of fundraising to offset the bills for all the fifth grade students.
And those three or four handfuls of parents are all the same old faces, doing double and triple duty organizing the weekly popsicle sales, actually selling the popsicles each week, running bake sales at events, coordinating the whole damn outdoor education machine (ahem), and so on.
When do we get to a point when we've had enough of doing the work of 90? We passed that point a little while back. That led to an email from the woman in charge of all fifth grade activities, with strong encouragement from me, to all parents saying, "If you haven't volunteered for any of the 5th grade group fundraisers yet and you plan on paying the full amount of $275 for Walker Creek, please let Patty, our Walker Creek Coordinator, know via email so that we may adjust our invoices."
Heh heh heh.
Responses overall? Nearly non-existent. One mom did reach out to me and suggest an awesome fundraiser that she and I are now doing. Two others were about what you'd expect if you were the cynical sort:
"If I volunteer to help clean up after the talent show does that mean some of the Walker Creek payment that is due will be reduced? If yes, by how much?"
Really? Fuckin' lazy asshole. How about doing your part overall?
But my favorite came last night:
"Just curious...is someone keeping track of bakers? There was no area to sign up on the form sent home (just for workers). I've spent 4+ hours today baking cupcakes and cookies. Not a big deal, but certainly those of us who cannot attend the show and opted to bake should be getting credit for our share, too. Just my two cents. You probably already have this covered. :)"
Now, let me point out that this woman is one who always volunteers for things, so she is not a slacker by any means. So she's not one of the ones anyone would be bitching about. Except for that attitude, which pushed the ever-patient, always positive woman in charge of all of the fifth grade activities finally over the edge. That optimistic, patient, lovely woman -- who does about a gazillion hours of volunteering each year in the schools and Little League, who has three kids in three different schools, and who works full-time at our school -- said in reply:
"Patty can reach out to all families to ask who contributed in this way, but you're right, that's not something we've tracked officially. Thanks for baking! Wish I had four hours to do that. :)"
Bwahahahahahaha! I laughed until my stomach ached. Bwahahahahahaha! Bazinga!