I’m seriously thinking that I may end up giving just as much money to the public school where Finn is going to kindergarten as I have been spending in daycare. In just one month of school I have sent money for lunches, aftercare, the PTA coupon book fundraiser, the PTA t-shirt fundraiser, the magazine fundraiser, school pictures, $5 to join the PTA, and today we got a notice to send $25 if we want a yearbook. All of this makes me wonder why my taxes aren’t good enough to cover all of this? Why does the PTA need to raise money for playground equipment and computers? Shouldn’t this be provided to schools through tax money?
I want a school system where the school has enough money to provide all of the students with the required supplies. If the classrooms are going to be so particular about the supplies each student needs (need I mention the “no run” glue or the 8-pack of crayons I couldn’t find?), then make it easy on us parents and just get them what they need. Each student should also get a complimentary school spirit t-shirt, yearbook and photo package. Raise my taxes so that all of these are included, as well as lunches and after-school care. I’m paying for it anyway, just take it out of my check.
Of course, the problem with this plan is that some parents may not want to pay extra taxes for lunches and yearbooks. Their child can bring their own lunch and they don’t need a book of other kids’ pictures. They prefer that these items remain “optional.” To address this I propose tax-rate packages. If you want the all-inclusive package, like me, you pay a higher percentage than someone who selects the “bare bones package.” With the bare bones package, you pay as you go for lunch, yearbooks, etc., much like you do now.
I know, I know. My idea is certain not to work. There’s probably lots of things I haven’t considered that some politician or school board member could point out. I just find it ironic that I was counting down the days until I’d stop paying for daycare and making plans for how to invest that “extra” money, and instead that money is just being nickeled and dimed at the new school.