Sunday, August 2, 2009

But...but...we're in the top 10

First...and foremost...the "Stuff the Bus" promotion is an awesome example of community members and businesses coming together for a great cause. We want to make it clear that we need to separate the two concepts: Good cause vs. Spin doctoring.

Stuff the Bus with School Supplies
Sarah Heck []
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2009 9:57 AM

District e-News to Key Communicators:
Sun Prairie community members can help Stuff the Bus with school supplies beginning today, July 31 through Saturday, August 1, to help families in our school district who struggle to afford school supplies. More than 1500 students in the Sun Prairie Area School District cannot afford school supplies.

Here's our issue: 1500 kids, out of a school district of 6000 means that 25% of the kids in our district cannot afford school supplies.

How would that be? After all, Sun Prairie just got named one of the "Top 10 Towns for Families" in the August edition of Family Circle. Certainly a town that is "good for families" does not mesh with the idea that 25% of the kids in those same families cannot afford basic school supplies.

Oh, wait. Maybe that's because they didn't interview one of THESE families. Instead they interviewed a family where one parent is a high salaried engineering consultant who did some work for the school district. And the other parent, is a "Research Data Assessment Specialist" employed by the school district at a very healthy salary. But, of course, Family Circle didn't mention the interviewees' connection with the district and that they do not represent the "average" Sun Prairian in terms of income.

Yes...Sun Prairie is a nice community. The school system has an excellent foundation because of its teaching force. But something is inherently wrong on the community front when 25% of the students cannot afford basic school supplies. I don't think anyone can argue that point. And that is the point we want to leave you with.

Our school board continues to spend, spend, spend...and the number of kids who cannot afford basic school supplies (and families who need to buy them) continues to increase , increase, increase.

So...thank you Kobussen and community members for giving. Thank you school district for setting this up. But school board you work on your budget...could you maybe keep that 25% figure in your collective heads? It's time to start tightening that belt.