I don’t want to bake cupcakes, go to a ball or sell wrapping paper. Just take my money.

A Texas mom posted this PTA volunteer sheet on Facebook on Tuesday after her 7th grader brought it home from school. The mom loved it and so does the Internet where this witty list has gone viral in a big way.

Doing my share to ensure even more folks see it, here it is:

clever

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62 comments
ProHumanitate
ProHumanitate

For those asking "Why?" - why are the schools hitting the community up for money when they're already ostensibly paying property taxes that should cover the school's needs?....

The majority of funding for our schools comes from the state. The state has cut funding for schools since 2002. It got much worse with the recession. At the same time, the state and the Feds mandated standardized test-based accountability systems. A boatload of money for every district is now going into test administration and security, data collection and analysis, and now the mandatory technology/computers/infrastructure required to administer these tests. No, the state did not provide any funding for that. In fact, they cut funding (this year notwithstanding).

Many districts in the state have seen class sizes rise to ridiculous levels in recent years, and many have cut the number of instructional days.

Also as a result of this cut in funding and the shifting of required expenses, and coupled with the fact that over half of our public school students in Georgia now qualify for free or reduced lunch (a rough proxy for poverty), districts have increasingly relied on federal Title I funds (given to schools with poor kids and which was originally intended for extra help and enrichment) to pay for some of the basic things they may have previously funded through state and local revenues. Things like instructional coaches; extra teachers for class size reduction so the kids aren't in classes with 30 kids; enrichment classes like art, band/orchestra, and foreign language; instructional technology like interactive smart boards, copiers/printers for the teachers; teacher resource materials; professional development.....

If your child happens to attend a school now that does not receive Title I funds (and especially if they are in a district like APS where most other schools do), you know there are no funds to pay for some of these necessities. By federal law, districts cannot spend Title I funds in schools for things they fund with general funds in other of their schools. And even if you're not in a district like that, you know that there's not enough to go around. Sports teams need uniforms, if you want to have a robotics team you're on your own to get sponsors, and the list goes on.

That's why they need the money. If you or your kids exited the school system prior to 2000 (or even a few years after), I get why you don't get it. Things have changed dramatically even since my oldest entered school in 2007 and my youngest in 2013. 

And I totally support just writing a check.

Back when I went to middle and high school in the 80s, we actually had textbooks. We carefully wrapped them in brown paper bags so they could be used again. They didn't change the textbooks year after year. Now, my kids not only don't have textbooks for some of their courses, we don't even have access to online textbooks because there are no resources to pay for the online access. For the record, I went to elementary school in GA but middle and HS in New England.

No, I'm not a teacher. Not affiliated with any union. Don't receive any money or paycheck whatsoever from the educational sector. Not a booster, blogger, lobbyist, or any other such thing. Just a parent of three children in public school, who happens to have the resources to send my kids to private school but I choose not to because I believe in the concept of public school.

Just write the check.



ProHumanitate
ProHumanitate

I'll go so far as to say that I don't think how some districts are resorting to using Title I funds now meets the intent of that federal program. 

The feds should audit the actual use of these funds, particularly for states whose public school population exceeds 50%, to determine whether the funds are being expended in the manner intended by the law, or whether they're actually being used to fill in the gaps left by lack of adequate state funding.

And they should go after the states who are forcing districts to use those federal funds inappropriately to fund what should be rightly funded by state and local revenues.

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

Here's the thing, it's not just the PTA.   You have athletic associations, band parents associations, all the various clubs at school, and then, you have all the ball teams, dance teams, and other groups outside of the school.  Some managers have implemented policies against all the selling at work and I know a few businesses who have stopped donating because it became too much of a burden - and it's hard to give to one group and not the other...

My main pet peeve against the sells is that only a fraction of the money goes to the students.  The last Fall Festival I helped with, probably 75% of the "volunteers" were teachers and their spouses.

ProHumanitate
ProHumanitate

@Lee_CPA2

How does your observation that 75% of the volunteers at this event were teachers and their spouses validate your assertion that only a fraction of the money goes to the students?

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

@ProHumanitate

It doesn't.  Bad editing on my part.  Two separate concepts.  Sorry for the confusion.


Fraction of the money going to schools.  Sales of material items, such as wrapping paper, only result in a percentage of the money going to the school or organization - usually about 50%.  To add insult to injury, the value received is not  worth the 50%  (i.e., Grandma just ordered wrapping paper for $10, which she probably could have bought at the dollar store for $3.)


Instead of selling stuff, why doesn't the schools have activities such as Fall Festivals?  Well, they do.  Only problem is that only a small percentage of the work is done by the students.  The last Fall Festival I helped with, probably 75% of the "volunteers" were teachers and their spouses.  The teachers were required to work and the spouses got "volunteered" because they couldn't get enough help.

anothercomment
anothercomment

The students who need the fund raising the least and their families partita te the least. Even the ones I offered to pick up the girls at the ratcheted apartment complex apartments and bring them to. For example the car washes. These car washes were set it for those who needed to raise funds to raise funds. Even when you took away transportation excuses they did not show. They did not sell, they did not work concessions. The black coach even went so far on game day team meals and snacks to send out an emai that said something to the following" you can use your food stamps to purchase a loaf of bread and Bologna for sandwiches for the team meal; this coach "me" can no longer afford to purchase pizza as the emergency meal when you do. Not take your assigned turn. Other parents are on their third emergency dinner. This is not fair! One of the ratchedy B had the audacity to responded that she was not supplying a meal because her child had been suspended ( state rules) for failing). It was December and other parents had finally complained about the double standards to the state of the school not following eligibility rules evenly across race. The coach responded that the mother should be pleased that her child was being afforded the extra study time to bring her grades up to passing before finals ( on block).

The next year I had had enough, I asked how much buying my own daughters uniform would be. Which would then allow the school could give the limited number of uniforms they had to those less fornutate. When the quote came back at $100-110. Immediately, several other of the IB moms announced that they would join me in purchasing their own uniform and opting out of fundraising. I would write the check.

That was another thing, I told then I would write a personal check, I had never written a bad check. It was low class and not in my lifestyle to pay with money orders of cash. I also told them that left me with no audit trail. You can accept my check of nothing!

The next year was the policy was owned uniforms only. New ones for $100. The used ones they had for $50. Of cheerleaders who weren't coming back or needed a different size could sell theirs directly for $50. The school committed they would keep the uniform the same for a 4 year cycle. So what ever uniform your daughter stated with on the 9th grade team would be the varsity uniform as a senior. This cut out a lot of drama.

My daughter also got to do a Channel 46, Burger King commercial because the last minute casting call required you to have a high school cheerleading uniform. It was shot in the middle of summer when most teams have no access to their uniforms.

Edwick
Edwick

As a parent, I do get tired of the constant things they basically want the ADULTS to sell....cookie dough, wrapping paper, pizza. handbags, and the list goes on.  I don't equate this monthly fundraising to volunteering.  I don't mind volunteering, but I have enough on my plate than to sell more junk to people. 

anothercomment
anothercomment

This board is plagued with the disappearing post disease again"

WW5
WW5

how about parents/children just pay their own way to participate in these activities and stop the practice of terrorizing family, friends and coworkers into paying for your kids pleasure.

heyteacher
heyteacher

The room parents for both of my kids classes has gone to a one time donation method for gifts and supplies for the classroom and teachers.  Personally I'm totally fine with that as it can be a nightmare to keep up with. The PTA still does 

fundraisers but they are major events so we aren't constantly having to sell something. I'm completely on board and am able to schedule my year around those major events (most schools in my district have only 2 -- so like a fall carnival and a spring run). 

An American Patriot
An American Patriot

Yeah, you might think this is cute; however, what's it teaching the child?  I'll tell you.....Not to volunteer for anything.  Not to get involved with your child's school activities.  All this person is doing is telling the world that she's LAZY and doesn't care enough to get involved.  This is exactly what's plaguing our society presently and the main reason that black kids have such a hard time in school.  Cute?  I'd say this lady was too lazy to use her brain.

ATLPeach
ATLPeach

@An American Patriot So, are you assuming that the creator of this form is black?! The reason that "some" black kids are having difficulty in school is much more complex than just not caring and being lazy. Poor kids in general begin school at a disadvantage. They have a very limited vocabulary and  don't have the cultural exposure of middle class children. I don't agree that sending in money teaches children to be lazy. That's exactly what this black lady does. However, I still volunteer my time at school. It can be done.

booful98
booful98

@An American Patriot Are you effing kidding me?????


It is teaching my kids that my time is worth more than the $25 that the PTA gets when I spend 5 hours peddling wrapping paper around the neighborhood. It is teaching my kids that Sally Foster, all those "thons", and the cheesecakes and other crap are gigantic SCAMS where they use unpaid selling force to peddle their horrifically overpriced products. It is teaching my kids to expect to pay THEIR OWN WAY for things instead of begging others for donations (gofundme anyone???).


This has NOTHING to do with race. I am white and so are my kids...who are excellent students. So bug off.

An American Patriot
An American Patriot

@ATLPeach @An American Patriot  You do know what assuming does, don't you.  I did not say this LAZY lady was black.  I did not say that black kids were lazy.  Please do everyone a favor and go back and read the comment and time OPEN YOUR BRAIN UP AND MAYBE IT'LL COME IN RIGHT THIS TIME.

An American Patriot
An American Patriot

@booful98 @An American Patriot So basically, you don't want to get involved and you don't want your kids to be involved.  You know, you meet a lot of nice people by being involved and it gives you a feeling of accomplishment.  You might want to teach your kids that.  Have you thought about a class in anger management?  You can practice getting involved that way.  Who knows, you might turn out nicer.

NGaChip
NGaChip

While this is darkly funny, it actually misses the point. 

The point is to teach young people that things must be EARNED. I was in Band in school, and had to sell things to raise money for trips and special performance events. Doing so helped me appreciate the effort spent toward earning the means to go have terrific times on those trips and at those performances.


If parents just give the money because they don't want to be bothered with helping their kids learn an important life lesson, then those parents will simply reinforce the concept of "entitlement" mentality... and kids will continue to expect everything to be given to them simply because they exist, and grow up with less character... and someday vote Democrat.

PJ25
PJ25

@NGaChip Half of this country is living on handouts from people who are actually successful in life so unfortunately, this is the new normal I'm afraid. 

bloodsweatntearz
bloodsweatntearz

@NGaChip I disagree.  What the children are doing is putting people on the spot and/or "guilting" people into buying because they don't want to see the looks on their disappointed faces.  These programs are even using incentives for the kids to sell, sell, sell!


If you sell $5000 worth of merchandise you get and iPod, or a PS4, or a Flat Screen TV.  Not educational rewards.

liberal4life
liberal4life

@NGaChip 

The point is to teach young people that things must be EARNED.

I didn't know those fund raisers actually had any point. If I give any donation to my kids schools, I would rather have the money go to the school, not these commercial enterprises that take advantage. It's either they get a big chunk, or what we are buying is really crappy things.

booful98
booful98

@NGaChip My children work very hard. They go to school all day, the participate in extra curricular activities, they volunteer with scouting, they participate in marching band, they are in advance classes in school and they get excellent grades.

They do not have time to peddle overprice crap from scam companies. I will write a check because supporting my children is MY job and doing well in school and getting a well rounded education is THEIR job. It is not anyone's job in my family to support the scam that is sally foster.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@NGaChip


"...simply because they exist, and grow up with less character... and someday vote Democrat."


You could have made a  completely legitimate point without resorting to such a childish partisan dig. 

AlreadySheared
AlreadySheared

I did this years ago.  When we switched our kids from "independent" school (what private schools call private schools) to our perfectly good public neighborhood school, I went to a PTA meeting.  

Relieved to be clear of private school tuition AND fund raising, when the PTA went over their budget, I divided the budget by the number of kids attending school, multiplied by 2 (how many kids we had) and added a smidge just to be safe.  And since the PTA was a 501(c)3 organization, I included the donation in as a charitable contribution on my tax return.  

Worked out better all the way around.

ljhays
ljhays

I'd rather donate directly to my kid's classroom/homeroom to help out the  teachers who spend a LOT of their own money over a school year.

Christie_S
Christie_S

@ljhays And those of us in the classroom love for parents to ask what the classroom needs.  If in doubt, kleenex, hand sanitizer, and notebook paper will ALWAYS be gleefully accepted.  :D

TaxiSmith
TaxiSmith

She also probably doesn't want to read to her child every night, help them with their arithmetic, or be bothered with teacher conferences. Betcha' ten bucks I'm right.

anothercomment
anothercomment

After being on cheerleading team made up of a combination of the extremes of IB students Black and all 3 of the minority white members and then the other members being Ghetto ( we had one Hispanic girl who made the team, but unfortunately different standards seemed to apply to her ( lucky for her in the long run) about passing on from summer school than other students. I also at one point moved between Cobb to Fulton ( just across the River and IB school to IB school and saw how different Mandatory fee policies were.

In Cobb the professional takers take. Policies that only gate ticket sales to football, basketball in areas that have lost their Public School white major attendance zones have sports, music and arts programs in big programs. They also tend to just divey up the majority of the concession sales to these same teams the boys teams. Forgetting about the Cheerleaders, or the band that come along with these events and school spirit. All gate receipts should be divided up for all sports let's not forget about title 9, or certain sports attract the first generation immigrants from from South America and Africa whose parents are industrious and working many jobs ( least likely to attend the games and pay the gate receipts while working? ). Then Cheerleading, sideline cheerleading should be entitled to part of the gate, even if it is not split with other sports. They don't have a seperate gate to charge for. Compitetion Cheer events are usually held at the remote places and just like competive gymnastic meets are not in person friendly events, even for a parent. They are snooze events, due to the scoring and tallying by "experts" on unclear rules to the average spectators.

The booster model just does not translate well to low income predominate schools. 100k school districts are not booster friendly either. It is easier for a "small town " Chevy or Ford dealer to sponser "small town Ford or Small town Chevy. Rather than 17 different Cobb County schools, or even narrowing that down to 5 or so. Then do you sponser Campbell, Walton, Marietta, Wheeler, etc. Instead it is easer to go where the money is and sponser Whitfield or Walker or Mt. Paren. If you are a Mercedes or Lexus dealer you are going to jump on Sponsering Lovett, Westmister and now of course Mercedes will continue to team up with Blank at Pace! Does the low SES public Schools then have the "Finance on our lot used car dealer as their booster". I don't see many Sally Beauty Supply, the local Barber shops Devry signing up as the replacement boosters. In Sandy Springs, Riverwood rents had been historically renting out their field to Holy Innocence so those Booster banners got more than the 24% still left in Public, so you would see some of the local business with booster signs ( knowing the double visibility, plus the scheduled game with the local private community, in attendance)

Astropig
Astropig

True story-


I once was asked to bond out a guy that had a van that went town to town with a gaggle of stray kids that were dropouts and such that dressed them up in school unis and sent them around taking orders for "school fundraisers"-from a color catalog-money up front. One mom got hinky when she noticed that the guy parked in her neighborhood and had Missouri plates and all of these kids come spilling out and blanketed the neighborhood.


Turns out she was a school PTA goddess of some sort and she knew the kids and the guy were fake.They charged him with theft by deception,financial identity fraud (he rushed checks to a local bank when trusting people wrote them) and possession of tools for the commission of a crime (the catalogs). When he got down to the jail and was being booked, he called me. He had warrants fall out from all over the country and even if I had wanted to bond him out (I didn't), he wasn't going anywhere. They let the kids go when they rolled over on him and explained the scam.


This story reminded me of that.

HANK55
HANK55

This is great. The last time some kid came to my house and took my order for candy bars I knew I would never see them again. I may as well just give them a donation. The kids never come back with the candy anyway.

someonesdad
someonesdad

I love it.  That's hilarious.  Although, I think that having THE KIDS involved in the fundraising is a good thing.  The parents shouldn't really be doing it anyway.  Girl Scouts cookies should be sold door-to-door by the GIRLS--not the parents.

someonesdad
someonesdad

@OldGaTech @someonesdad No, you walk with them, but THEY approach the house and do all of the talking.  I just wave.  I did it for many years, and several hours a day for several days.

OldGaTech
OldGaTech

@someonesdad So you want to send 10 year old girls out walking the streets of Atlanta with cookies and an envelope full of money?

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

So, what is the money actually used for?  Why isn't this covered in regular school costs? Why keep hitting up parents and the community for funds when schools should cover the cost of everything school related. 

someonesdad
someonesdad

@LogicalDude You don't have kids, do you?  The public schools have no money.  Ever seen a teacher's classroom decorations?  She buys those with her own money.  The public schools are a joke.

HANK55
HANK55

@LogicalDude The parents buy beer with it. They take your money and you never see your candy bars.

someonesdad
someonesdad

@LogicalDude Depends on the school.  Sometimes they buy computer equipment.  Other times, it's a new A/C (yep, it's true).  Some of the money is used to help teachers with their supplies.  However, it's better to have a PTO than a PTA.  With a PTA, some of the money has to go to the national organization.  With a PTO, you keep it all.

Unaffiliated Voter
Unaffiliated Voter

@someonesdad @LogicalDude  Get YOUR children OUT of GOVERNMENT SCREWLS as FAST as you CAN !!!


when kids come to my door selling stuff for school I tell them I've already donated with my TAXES!

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@someonesdad @LogicalDude Yep, so people are paying into the schools what the schools should already be paying for. 


It's not for sports gear for a team. (Parents get that bill separate)

It's not for musical instruments or uniforms for band. (Parents get that bill separate)

It's not for class trips. (Parents get that bill separate)


It's for stuff that the school should already cover.  Teachers shouldn't have to use their own income to cover these things. 

These fundraisers are so commonplace that schools don't feel they need to actually pay for these things. 

straker
straker

Many years ago, my Mother used to drag me to my school's PTA meetings.


They were even more boring than the every Sunday church services I was dragged to.

booful98
booful98

BRILLIANT. I would check that $100 box WITH PRIDE. 


Take my money, take all my money, just don't ask me to sell anything, run anything, buy anything, or do any kind of "thon". Take my money and go away.

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

That's probably the most common sense thing I've read on this blog in a long time.

PITTFAN
PITTFAN

I so want to be in that school district.  The PTA at my son's school is the most useless organization EVER!  Therefore, I never join.  They don't have fundraisers though but I wouldn't participate even if they did.

PITTFAN
PITTFAN

@GaGirl53171875 

Nope, it's very political in our school and it's not part of their clique.  I've been to a few of the PTA functions because my kids were performing for the orchestra or volunteering and at most there were 25 people in attendance.....in a school with a population of 3,000+ students. 

GaGirl53171875
GaGirl53171875

Ok Nelly negative. Ever thought that maybe you could go in & help turn things around rather than just sitting on your bottom judging and complaining? Geesh!

ByteMe
ByteMe

My kids' school is flat rate: $80 per year for the PTA, never sell a thing, volunteer if you like, etc.  But NO fundraisers forcing our kids to be little shills for some overpriced garbage or candy.

When neighborhood kids come to the door to sell me overpriced stuff for their scout troop or whatever, I just hand them a $20 and tell them that 100% of that money better go to the organization instead of pennies on the dollar for selling me something I don't want.

booful98
booful98

@ByteMe A lot of suburban schools have gone to this method because people love it and can afford to pay a flat fee. I am ALL OVER it and thanked profusely the PTA the year they introduced this at the elementary school. But I do wonder if this kind of thing would work in a low income school.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@booful98 Maybe not all at once, but figure it's $5 once a week for 16 weeks (about half the school year) and you'd get to the same dollar amount  It's just a matter of priorities for that $5.  Not everyone in our school contributes either, but if you can, you do, because the money is used to keep the teachers from having to spend to get instruction materials they can't otherwise get.

HANK55
HANK55

@ByteMe I pay taxes every year for children I never had and others I don't know. And, don't want to know. People with children need to give money. Stop taking money from old people. You had 'em, you raise 'em.