6th Grade. Science camp. My daughter has been looking forward to this for years.
So, today, my little girl comes home with a flyer. For a "Sales Incentive Plan".
Yup, the old "Sell candy for the school." Only this time, there's more than just prizes at stake. It's also her education.
(Explanation on the flip.)
You see, my daughter is trying to get a scholarship to a nice private school in the area. She wants to learn music, dance, acting, art, etc... all things that are not emphasized in the local public school district until high school, and then only as "Electives".
Part of getting a scholarship is good grades. At the local school, I have been told that the only way that my daughter will be able to get a passing grade in science is to go to science camp. Oh, not that she's a bad student who needs to make it up, rather that is the ENTIRE science grade for the year, according to my daughter's teacher.
Which is where children selling 250 candy bars for Five hundred dollars comes in. Yup, you see despite this being a required part of the curriculum, apparently funding cuts have made it so that the school cannot afford to go to the camp without a MASSIVE fundraiser for the school, totaling Eighteen Thousand Dollars.
Which doesn't sound too bad, I mean, for an educational experience like this most parents would be willing to pony up the 250 a student it will cost.
What's that? You caught the discrepancy in the math too?
Yup, there's an additional dollar from EVERY candy bar that doesn't go to the school. It goes to the company that makes the candy. Now, I'm no expert, but it seems to me that price is above wholesale cost.
Essentially, my daughter, and by extension I, is being told that in order to afford the cost of a good grade she needs to fork over Two hundred and fifty bucks to somebody not even tangentially related to the educational process.
At this point, I would be PERFECTLY willing to raise the money on my own. Two Hundred and fifty bucks for FIVE days at camp is totally doable. Double that to give a kickback to a private corporation is not, no matter what "Helping Students Succeed" spin they want to put on this crap.
Damn right I'm pissed off. My kid is not your sales force, and if she is, she deserves MUCH better margins than corporate America wants to give her.
6:05 PM PT: Damn, #2 on the Rec list? I'm flattered folks, really. Glad to see I'm not the only parent pissed off by this complete and utter horseshit that has been foisted on our educational system.
8:04 PM PT: #1 on the Rec List? Dang. I really, really, really am the worst judge of what people want to talk about. Thank you for the support, and we'll figure this out yet. Less than 3 weeks into the school year this time too...
Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 8:27 AM PT: Spoke to school this morning. In their magnimonious wisdom, they will let my daughter pay for science camp individually. I still have to fork over 150 bucks for her "A", since 79% of the science grade will be based off science camp to quote the teacher.
It still stinks to high heaven, but at least I won't have to spend hours hocking chocolate for a public school grade. STILL going to talk to the district about this. (Apparently selling chocolate IS the "Scholarship" program for the science camp. Does this smell rotten to anybody besides me? Am I the only one who read "The Chocolate War"?
Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 3:05 PM PT: Wow. This is my most Recced Diary ever... Beat the last one by over 100 recs...I'm really flattered, and thanks to everyone who voiced support.
Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 6:35 AM PT: 2 Days on the Rec List? Dang... I really appreciate all the support folks. Left a message with the district last night. Still haven't received a follow up. We'll see what happens.