Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pencils and Paper and Glue, Oh My!

These are the school supplies I bought today. Looks like a lot of stuff, huh? It is. Well, granted, it's divied among four kids. I remember the days when I sent my kids to school to start off the new school year with a new backpack, a pocket folder, and some pencils. Now we are asked to provide not only personal items for our kids (scissors, notebooks, etc.), but supplies for the classroom, like antibacterial wipes, glue, reams of paper, and tissue. That's how bad the state of the economy is, at least here in California, and schools are being hit the hardest. "Free" public education is no longer free. Parents (who are also hit hard by the economy) are asked to donate supplies to the school. Programs are eliminated. School fundraisers are frequent. Field trips cost money now.

We do what we can.

But I can't help but wonder: where is all the money that we pay in property taxes going? As housing prices rose dramatically - almost comically - during the first half of the first decade of the twenty-first century, you can bet that property taxes rose accordingly. And even in this now-depressed housing market and economy, we personally are still paying through the you-know-what in property taxes every year, and yet public education is hurting worse than ever. Where the hell is that money going? And where's the lottery money going? If I recall correctly, a significant portion of lottery ticket proceeds are supposed to be fed into public education.

What gives, Arnie?


Anonymous said...

I hear you. Our schools have been asking for supplies for awhile now.
I am glad we still don't have to buy textbooks!
I bought as little as possible and still spent a fortune. Argh.
I can't believe i have 7 kids going into school this year. Eek.

Love, Asha.

Larry said...

And in addition to the property taxes and lottery there are all of those bond measures that were supposed to give billions to schools here - I think it gets trapped at the higher levels - I have some serious doubts about the teachers unions...what are they doing to allocate the funds properly to the teachers and schools???

At least be thankful that here in Fullerton the "free" education only asks a $100 or so per kid - my friend in Manhattan Beach is asked to pony up $1000 per kid - yikes! still cheaper than private tho' huh? They actually had a fundraiser to save all the programs and class sizes and managed to raise $4.1 mil so saved it all...

Carla said...

Argh. Please tell me you were able to shop sales, use coupons, etc. Dang, that's a lot of stuff

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Anonymous said...

And then there is the pay to play programs, so the kids can play sports. This year our school added a transportation fee for all kids that will be using the bus for activities. It never ends and it will continue to empty the pocket of all the taxpayers until public education will be limited to those that can pay for it. Democracy at its finest!