Monday, 20 February 2012

Crossing the Line

Today, it's a rant, so be prepared. (grin)

The other day, I received an email from the PTA of Lily's old school. Although Lily no longer goes there, I am still on their list. I don't mind. It's interesting to see what's going on. And this particular one got me going. You see, every year, the parents of our local schools raise money to pay for programs that the budgets have cut--subjects like music, art, and theater. The art and music teachers are independent contractors. The money pays for companies such as LA Opera and The Music Center come in to teach classes.

So, this email comes through. The president of the district employee union is threatening to file a lawsuit because the programs the parents have raised money for is taking jobs away from its members. (The implication with this was also that parent volunteers were also taking away their jobs. O.o)

What? There wouldn't be any art and music in our local school if the parents didn't raise funds for them. If parents didn't volunteer, there are things that would be much harder to accomplish. (As a past parent volunteer, I speak from experience.) In other words, most parents (not all) make the teachers' jobs easier and improve their kids' educations.

But the union is saying that they want to be able to tell us how to spend the money we raised? Who we should hire? Really? You want to go there?

As parents, they are doing what they think is best for their kids. And, really, this is about kids, right? Right? Hm... Why doesn't it seem that way? And why am I not surprised?

Very little seems about kids in the schools any more. Matter of fact, most of it seems to be about the money. If your kid misses school, they don't care so much about why your kid misses, but more about the fact that they won't get the money for that kid. So, this whole thing about them making the grab for money raised by parents? It really sticks in my craw. (Not hard, considering there are a lot of things about the schools nowadays that does that.)

Not surprisingly, this has riled the parents, and the parents are organizing. These parents who have been organizing to raise money for the past several years know how to organize. Stay across that line, and the union might find themselves in a very untenable situation. If they are smart, they will drop this, back away, and shut up. I'm not betting on intelligence, though. Greed? Yes. Intelligence? No.

We'll see what happens.


Faith said...

Things like this makes me wonder how and why the IQ of such people plummets. And yes, anything in the schools always boils down to money. It infuriates me. Our school recently got half a million bucks but there's no money to test kids, there's no money for books, there's no money to update computers... Really? Half a million dollars and there's no money? Why? WHERE DID IT GO?

I really hate how the public school system has turned to crap.

Terri Talley Venters said...

Wow! The nerve. (picking jaw up off the floor). I'm blessed my kids are in Catholic school. And it wouldn't exist without parent donations, fund raising, & volunteers.

Valerie Mann said...

Without getting political, I have to say this is one more reason why people don't trust unions any longer. They serve a valuable purpose. Sometimes. This isn't one of them. I agree with everything you said, and this is one of the reasons why I chose to homeschool my own kids for awhile. When the education becomes more about money and greed rather than the child, it's frustrating. Keep us posted on the outcome!

Robyn M Speed said...

I am so utterly sick and tired, and pissed off, and riled, and (insert any other word you like) that so much comes down to MONEY!!

Can we please just do what is RIGHT!!

Do what is right. Is that really so hard?

Anthology Authors said...

I know, Faith. The thing is that they have stirred a hornet's nest. When I say these parents know how to organize, I'm not kidding. If they don't back down, they will regret it.

Even though this is a public school, Terri, people seem to forget they wouldn't exist without taxes. Taxes come from where? The people. Unions have forgotten this.

Valerie, I was trying to stay away from politics, but I agree. I believe that part of the problems with the schools are the unions. I am not saying they don't serve a purpose, but they've also helps create some of the financial woes of our state. Although a lot of that is the fault of the idiots in the capitol.

Robyn, you know that song from Cabaret, don't you? Money makes the world go round, the world go round, the world go round... Interestingly enough, we were at the Chumash Indian Museum. The Chumash are the local California Indians. Even they had a type of money. They were in California 1000 years ago.

Jim Greer said...

Whoa, thoughtful even as you ranted on! A good friend who retired as an area superintendant talks about how everyone fights for money and power in his former "industry." Industry!? On the other hand, the fire protection district in our city ran into budget issues and, to keep firefighters employed, everyone took a three percent pay cut. Not a freeze, not a decreased or deferred increase, but a true cut. Maybe we should get some of those men and women into the classrooms, to teach leadership and shared sacrifice.

Faith said...

My grandfather was a teacher from the time he was 17 until well in his 80s. He even helped open an elementary and jr high. He predicted the collapse of the educational system to a tee. Mom says the more she finds out what's going on in our schools, the eerier his predictions become.

Jaime Samms said...

Home. School. nuff said. ;~)

Gail said...

Y'all need to get in touch w/ Aryn Belfer. Granted she's in California, but she's having similar problems with the school system there. Different but similar.

Anthology Authors said...

Thanks, Jim.

There's a move to change it, Faith, but I don't think it will be in time for Lily.

That's why I am homeschooling her, Jaime, but it still irks me.

I am in California, Gail. In So Cal to be precise. There is a large homeschooling community here. I will have to get in touch with her.