Saturday, August 21, 2010

Even MORE School Supply Shenanigans

We received this from a concerned parent:
"I’ve heard over the years that a teacher at PMMS requires each kid to bring a ream of copy paper that he collects and squirrels away, and makes grades dependent on it. When I pushed for a name, the parent clammed up and stated that they feared retaliation if I raised a stink." we zoomed out from the elementary school supply lists view and focused on the middle schools

There indeed was the ream of copy paper..."required" of each PMMS 6th grader.
We checked...And it's not just one's the WHOLE SCHOOL! 7th graders at PMMs are also "required" to bring in a ream of copy paper.


But not PVMS (Prairie View Middle School) students. No "ream of copy paper" on their supply lists. It's something different at PVMS. At PVMS, 6th grade students in the "A" house are each "required" to bring in "3 packages of looseleaf paper", while the "B" house students only have to bring in " 2 packages of looseleaf paper". that because the "A" kids are more studious than the "B" kids? Do they therefore use more paper? WTF!

And what exactly do they mean by a "package" of looseleaf paper? A package consists of anywhere from 100 to 500 individual sheets. Let's just go the small route...100 sheets. So...each PVMS 6A house kid is "required" to bring in 3 packages? 300 sheets? That's 300 pages times about 250 kids per house. That's 75,000 sheets of paper! And if they mean the 250 sheet packs, that number jumps to 187,500 sheets. Let's see....180 days of school. That comes to over ONE THOUSAND sheets of looseleaf paper consumed per school day. Honey...get the Department of the Interior on the phone...we have a stage 5 forestry threat.

The least of several issues?
And let's not focus too heavily on the de-forested area resulting from the copy paper and looseleaf paper. What about the scotch tape? 4 BOXES of clear "refill Scotch tape" for the classroom dispenser? Hey...McFly! If it's for the classroom dispenser...then why do the KIDS have to provide it? And let's get back to the "boxes" issue. How many rolls of refill tape are we "requiring" per kid? And who uses tape these days?

And...what about the TWO hand-held pencil sharpeners required per child? Um...we know we have talented kids in Sun Prairie, but unless their toes act like opposable thumbs, there's not one in the lot of them that can use two pencil sharpeners at the same time. And...don't most kids opt for those mechanical pencils nowadays...that don't need sharpening because the lead is always fine? Oh...and perhaps a silly question....but didn't every classroom used to come equipped with a serious pencil sharpener? Of wait...those used to be attached to the blackboards...and we've traded all those in for (Smart) whiteboards.

It's not the cost that's the issue here
Yeah...Yeah...we know...a ream of paper costs about $3.50. Big hairy deal...right?
It's the principle here.
Parents should NOT be required to provide basic school classroom supplies.
Yes...Johnny needs a backpack....and writing utensils of sorts. And some folders.

But copy paper? Please. THAT, mes something that the teachers need to do their job and thus should be purchased and paid for by the school district as part of the general budget. Oh, some might disagree. Some LOVE the fact that ill-informed community residents will blindly open their wallets and fund the school district, because it keeps property taxes down. And that is a good thing...right?

We beg to disagree. SP-EYE is and always will be quick to address the school board when the district is spending frivolously and unnecessarily. But we will just as staunchly support the need for the school district to provide the necessary supplies for the education of our kids. You need copy paper for your lesson plans. Fine...that's a school expense that should be paid for out of the general fund.

Hidden Agenda
Parents...why do you suppose they want YOU to provide classroom supplies, huh?
For those of you that haven't followed the scent trail...
If the district buys all these school supplies out of the general budget, then
(A) the budget grows, which makes the taxpayers grumpy, and
(B) there's less room in the budget for things like RAISES...and Kit Kat bars, and restroom newspaper subscriptions, and bottled water, and pizza lunches. need to speak up. We haven't even addressed the initial concern about not wanting to speak up for fear of retaliation against your children That is simply unconscionable. But your silence is being viewed as tacit approval of what the district is doing. And that's a wrong you must correct.

It's time for you to speak up....tell the school board at a meeting. Or..if you still fear retaliation, create an anonymous e-mail account (ask your child how) and send an e-mail to all school board members.