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A school bus.
In just two short weeks my son will start high school, a momentous event in his young life, the beginning of his journey to adulthood. He plays football and plans to be a wrestler this season.

Thirty-three years ago when I started high school (GO PURGOLDERS!), my parents did not have to pay any fees for me to attend school. There were no fees for me to play football, and no fees for textbooks or consumables. As I recall, the only fees my parents paid while I was in high school were $20 for a season pass to all athletic events (total of $80 for four years), and $60 for driver's education my sophomore year. That was it.

Now, 30-some years later due to a shifting of the tax burden from the wealthy and businesses, school funding has taken a hit. Now my taxes no longer cover what it costs to educate a child.

And yet, Article X Section 3 of the Wisconsin State Constitution states:

The legislature shall provide by law for the establishment of district schools, which shall be as nearly uniform as practicable; and such schools shall be free and without charge for tuition to all children between the ages of 4 and 20 years...
Well, this does not look like free to me:
Off-season football camp: $75.00
Athletic fee (per sport): $115.00 x 2 (Football and Wrestling)
Off-season Speed, Strength, and Conditioning: $70
Spirit Pack (Clothing required for football): $45
Activity Fee: $30.00
Consumable Material Fee: $17.00
Planner: $5.00
SCI111-Course Fee Yr: $4.00
Textbook Fee: $35.00
Gatorade Fee: $20.00 (Added fee for football to pay for post-game refreshments)
Optional Yearbook: $47.00
Optional Student Athletic Pass: $20.00
Follow below the fold for more.

To top this off, any child participating in athletics is also expected to raise funds for the athletic department by selling discount cards for $20 each so that the athletic department has funds for maintenance. This past Wednesday my son and the rest of the football team had to go on a "blitz" to sell as many of the cards as they possibly could in a four-hour period.

In other words, my 14-year-old son has to be a salesman in order to play football.

Added to this is that the Madison Metropolitan School District no longer offers driver's education as a part of the curriculum due to budget cuts, which forces parents to the private market which is not cheap. And it makes me wonder how economically disadvantaged families are going to be able to afford having a child become a licensed driver.

I keep being told that we here in Madison are getting off easy on fees. Some of my friends have said they are paying double or triple what my family is paying. But that's not the point—the point is that in Wisconsin, voucher schools are siphoning money away from the public school system, and the wealthy and businesses are not paying their fair share.

It's not just public schools suffering. City services are cut as well. Across the Midwest communities, including Madison, are losing ash trees to the Emerald Ash Borer infestation. The city of Madison will have to cut down thousands of ash trees on public property and replant with hardier trees. The question currently before the city council on how to pay for this. One proposal is to charge property owners about 73 cents for each linear foot of street frontage, which would amount to $52.56 for a property with 72 feet bordering a city street. And this charge can't be added to property taxes because Scott Walker's Wisconsin ties the hands of municipalities with property tax caps. In the case of Madison, which is currently looking at $2 million dollars in increased urban forestry costs over the next two years, a fee is the only way to raise the money. You could face a higher fee just because you live on a corner.

All of these fees come at a time when wages have remained stagnant, with no relief in sight for the average worker in Wisconsin—who will be hit hardest by all these school fees, urban forestry fees, and other fees. In May of this year, Gov. Walker cut taxes once again, but those tax cuts will only benefit the wealthy—and they shifted even more of the burden onto the middle class. Now instead of all of us in society each paying our fair share towards educating our children and maintaining our cities and towns, the rich enjoy low taxes while local services crumble.

Wisconsin, the city of Madison, and the Madison Metropolitan School District are but a microcosm of what has happened and is continuing to happen in America today. We have the money to militarize our police forces, for jet fighters that do not fly, for wars that seemingly never end, but we cannot pay to educate our children, house the homeless, or provide basic city services.

While growing up my dad, a child of the Great Depression and a World War II veteran, would tell me how America was the greatest nation on earth. That she may have made mistakes along the way, but we were a beacon to the rest of the world. Today, I can't tell my son those same things. I feel as if I have lost my country. Our priorities are all wrong, and hate and vitriol have replaced reasoned debate. Our police forces look like they would be more at home on a battlefield in Iraq or Afghanistan than in Missouri. All of this goes on while our middle class collapses under an ever-increasing load of paying for everything.

What kind of world will my son be facing in four years when he graduates from high school?

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:29 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

      •  Indeed, (11+ / 0-)

        There are many schools here where schools fund football at the expense of textbooks.  The schools pay for all the football gear and expenses (cause it's popular and "sexy"), but we can't get textbooks: often not even a classroom set, never mind textbooks for individual students to take home.  This ass-backwards set of priorities is infuriating to me.  I say, if the students want football, they pay for the damn gear so we can pay for some damn textbooks instead.  Pisses me off!  F@@K football!

        •  40 years ago, community colleges in California (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          were free for the students - except for a $5 activity fee - it got you your student ID card.

          39 years ago, at the same school, I had to pay for consumable supplies in my chemistry class.  Plus the $5.00 activity fee.

          Today, I understand that community college tuition in California is not free for the students.  And that the activity fee is no longer $5.  

          But, by golly, the police force in Ferguson got their military equipment and the Pentagon got its jets that the military doesn't want.

          "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~ John Wooden

          by Terry S on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 09:46:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  'Cause kids get textbooks for fun n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ndaWilderness, SGA, jbsoul
    •  I would include a few others (37+ / 0-)

      like the textbook fee and the planner fee.

      First, most of these "fees" are mandatory fees which you are obligated to pay if you expect to receive a diploma. You can finish all coursework with straight A's but not receive your diploma until all fees are paid. This is not a free public education.

      Second, if a student is expected to get into a college (which we should encourage) most colleges expect students to be involved in extracurricular activities in order to have the best chance of getting in. Athletics, clubs and other groups are really not "optional." My daughter is currently in orchestra and the costs are outrageous.

      A free public education until the 12th grade is nonexistent and exacerbates the wealth gap.

      •  IIRC Texas is now charging fees for the school bus (4+ / 0-)

        Can't see how that's optional.

        “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Lyndon Baines Johnson

        by spacecadet1 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:05:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Where in Texas? We aren't paying a school bus fee (0+ / 0-)


          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:21:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Keller ISD just north of Fort Worth (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Just googled it. Circa 2011. Haven't figured out how to post links from this blasted ipad yet but aparrently Perry cut school funds so bad that some districts got so desperate that they decided that bus fees aren't "tuition".

            “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Lyndon Baines Johnson

            by spacecadet1 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 08:28:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Where we live in California (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dinotrac, FarWestGirl

              we always had to pay for the bus. Back in 1990 it was $60 per half year per child. High school doesn't have a bus so you went county bus at $30 per month per child.

            •  The Keller decision was the result of Keller (0+ / 0-)

              residents rejecting a millage increase in their property taxes.

              Texas education funding, however, is a hoary mess.
              Per capita state-level spending has increased at a pace substantially higher than enrollment increases, but...

              the state encouraged localities to drop property tax rates by agreeing to pick up part of their costs, but...

              hasn't fully kept up with that, so...

              maybe that played into the Keller decision, but...

              Jeez!  If their property taxes were cut, making up part of the difference so that kids can ride buses doesn't sound like a terrible thing.  Anyway, Keller remains the only district in Texas doing that, though I saw there's one in Alabama now).

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 04:20:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  That drives me bonkers (10+ / 0-)

          That's the only fee you can charge in California. Some districts charge it. Mine doesn't, for which I am grateful.

          To my mind, you want to set kids up to be independently able to get themselves to school and participate fully without any adult cooperation. Obviously, that's a huge disadvantage, but it needs to be possible. A bus is part of that.

          Not to mention that buses limit traffic around the schools, save on air pollution, create less wear and tear on public roads, are safer, etc etc for a big win when students use them instead of being driven.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:37:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bus fees (6+ / 0-)

            Our California district does charge bus fees. Our kids decided they would rather ride bikes, and (this was some time ago) started a trend.

            However, there's also a fee for bus transportation for those who participate in athletics. $75 per season, and there are three seasons.

            We are in an isolated community, so the bus rides to sporting events can be quite long. I can almost buy the reason for the fees, but it is a burden to some families.

            We try to help with donations for uniforms and transportation "scholarships".

            •  Does California not have... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              a designated bike parking area? You know there's parking fees now for not parking your bike in the designated parking area. Ridiculous. Yeah, it doesn't matter if all other bike racks are filled, you will get a fine no matter what. I was at a loss when I heard that one.

              •  where we live (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                bike riding is not an option. It's right next to a 45 mile an hour highway with no shoulders, not safe at all. The kids up here are not allowed to ride bikes to school.

                •  You must live in the boonies... (0+ / 0-)

                  Which is great if they offer bussing. They offer bussing here only if your elementary school student lives a 1.5 miles from the school. 3 miles for a high schooler. If not, they have the option of being dropped off (of course), walking (of course), or riding their bikes. There are designated bike racks which ALL BIKES must be placed in. It doesn't matter if the bike racks are full. If the bike is not placed in a bike rack, then guess what... you are paying a fee.

              •  Bike parking is going to vary school to school. (0+ / 0-)

                Like another commenter, for my kid the ride to school is a 45 mph road with no shoulders. Biking is not an option. For kids in other directions, biking or walking is very doable and it's probably possible to ride a horse too, if someone will take it home after. ;-)

                Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                by elfling on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 09:23:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Um, I only brought up bike riding fees... (0+ / 0-)

                  as an example of the amount of school related fees many parents are forced to contend with. I did not mean for it to sound like it was the end all, be all of my argument. I am sorry if you misunderstood, but I do appreciate your response. It is great that where you are at you don't have to worry about bike riding. I can especially understand with the fact that there are no shoulders to ride on. I know I wouldn't feel comfortable with my children riding on streets with no shoulders.

                  •  I can't imagine fining a kid for not having enough (0+ / 0-)

                    bike parking places, sheesh.

                    Having that many kids biking to school is a reason to celebrate!

                    You know, a good school administrator is worth her weight in gold. Or maybe something even more expensive.

                    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                    by elfling on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 10:22:35 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  For a long time... (0+ / 0-)

          ...that's been the case in many areas.

          I think the notion is that parents are responsible for seeing that their kids get to school. The kids, for example, can't show up naked, but the taxpayers don't pay for kid's clothes out of the education budget.

      •  At least with Orchestra she's gaining (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dpepperw, bobcat41702

        a pursuit that she can keeep for the rest of her life.

        High school team sports, football in particular, causes injuries that can be life-long, if not fatal.  (I trace my knee problems back to playing 1A football thirty years ago.)

        I would argue that the bulk of sports programs do more harm than good because they promote tribalism (they're bad because they're not us) and unquestioning deference to authority, and often blur the line between violence and recreation.

        There is a long history of misogyny and rape culture in team sports programs.  Often these programs glorifiy brutality by the large against the small, which overflows the boundaries of the sports field either by individual players or entire teams.  Intermurals detract from learning by appropriating money from limited school budgets, and refocusses teacher hiring so that second rate teachers with coaching experience are hired over better qualified teachers who can't wear that second hat.  

        Physically blessed students are lauded beyond any reasonable level, often exacerbating outsized egos, while demoralizing the students who spend those two to four hours a day in constructive pursuits, rather than learning how to pummel anonymous "warriors" from the neighboring school.

        I realize that there are people who get an acceptable outlet for their violent tendencies through sports, but I'd rather those people were getting professional help.  People talk about teamwork, but that's not what high school sports teaches.  Teamwork, at least the kind that's useful later in life, is not blindly executing the orders of an authority.  When a business asks if a potential hire can work in a team setting, they're looking for someone with social skills, not someone who can be trained to take two steps forward, turn to the right, and block the right tackle.  What passes for teamwork in high school team sports is just learning to follow.

        Real teamwork involves learning how to negotiate complex problems when there is not an authority there to tell you what to do.  That is not what happens on the sports field.

        For the record, from my experience, colleges will look more highly on activities that a child originates (starting a clothing drive, creating a civic garden, or forming a musical ensemble, or self-publishing a cookbook) than on merely joining an activity run by adults, so it is often possible to control a lot of those costs and let your daughter get real leadership experience that will take her much farther than the popularity-contest-experience that won't set her apart from most other high school students.

      •  People don't understand (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that public schools really ARE cash-strapped as the wealthy and the biggest corporations are not paying their fair share of taxes, which is the root of the problem.  So more and more costs ARE getting shifted onto families.  Plus the federal govt. never has fully funded expensive mandates like Special Ed, only up to about 40% funded by the feds.  All this new federal testing and the computers and broadband to test on will cost states plenty, millions.  Some states are having funding withheld by the feds because they won't play ball with Duncan's demands that open the door for more and more for-profit and privatization opportunities like charters and testing materials for, you guessed it, the 1%, Wall Street, and our biggest corporations----the ones who are not paying anything like their fair share of taxes in the first place!

    •  I have no problem (35+ / 0-)

      with fees to pay sports.

      It appears the diarist believes the right to education includes the right to football.

      Politicians - "You can't be a pimp and a prostitute too"

      by fladem on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:46:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How about fees to be in Jazz or Marching band? (18+ / 0-)

        Fees to pay for art or for science projects?

        We had a math team. Fees for that?

        A sanctimonious member of the Professional Left since 1967.

        by slatsg on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:56:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Fees for sports or other extracurricular, school- (6+ / 0-)

        sponsored activities are not legal in California. The California Supreme Court considers them as integral to the program as all the other offerings.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:59:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My guess is that many schools don't offer programs (0+ / 0-)
          •  Not so (0+ / 0-)

            In California, most if not all standard public high schools are going to have a sports program. It's surprisingly important to the kids - they can and do switch to different middle schools and high schools for sports.

            In our district, if a change to sports is on the agenda, the kids will turn out for the board meeting. Not their parents - the kids. I've heard some very eloquent football players address the board with how important the program is to them.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 09:28:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Question: (0+ / 0-)

              Does the California Supreme Court decision specify that such programs accept any student who wishes to participate? It would make sense that a publicly funded program would, but I'm curious if it does.

              "All war is stupid" - JFK

              by jorogo on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:12:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The decision is Hartzell v. Connell 1984 (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                (plus some cases and legislation since to enforce it)

                Hartzell v. Connell

                This is a useful summary also, and includes a list of permissible fees:

                So read the text for yourself and see what you think.

                In general, I would suspect what you're getting at, the idea that fees would be allowed if not every child can participate, is a no go. Consider AP Biology. Not every child can or will participate, because prerequisites are not met. And yet, I think few of us would then conclude that it's okay to charge kids a fee for the lab or the textbook.

                Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                by elfling on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 02:05:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Most schools don't support debate and other non (0+ / 0-)

                  sports activities.

                  Private schools in California have incredible debate programs.

                  •  There are some amazing programs in public schools (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    fhcec, boji

                    In my immediate area, we have lots of FFA, we have the Boonville Space Program, a guitar-making class, and there are a couple of schools around that teach violin. My daughter's school has a rock band that takes anyone and is actually pretty good. The art program does a Trash Fashion show and the art teacher gets the high school kids placed in juried shows and art galleries. My daughter's junior high takes every kid to Yosemite and the sixth grade goes for a weeklong science camp at Mendocino Woodlands State Park.

                    There's a debate program at the large high school nearby, and Healdsburg High School won a prize recently in a bilingual debate contest that required the kids to participate in both English and Spanish.

                    That's all just off the top of my head.

                    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                    by elfling on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:46:41 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  I draw the line at football (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        spyresca, spacecadet1, wa ma, joey c

        As a thought experiment, would you support public funds going to a boxing program?

        Football is a proven negative to ones brain development. And I won't touch the cultural negatives (highest domestic violence incidence in the nation is Super Bowl Sunday.).

        •  You are missing the point of the post n/t (8+ / 0-)

          "Republicans only care about the rich" - George W. Andersen - my late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

          by Mark E Andersen on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:09:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No I'm not (5+ / 0-)

            You are just feeling something many have felt for decades there isn't enough and some things cost a ton. Like football.

            Football has always taken more than its share. In my school the fees were all the same for all sports but they went in one pool. Football got 90% of it!

            Likely you're son is getting more money spent on his football experience than some son is getting for his long distance running CEOs country team experience.  

            Stick to the textbooks.

            •  Cross country (0+ / 0-)

              Not CEOs country. Hmmm.

            •  Yes, you are missing the point. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              You are focusing too much on "foooosball" and not on the overall funding of activities that are not "optional." If a school program offers an activity beneficial to a student's future acceptance to a college, would you support that?

              •  I'd support that... (0+ / 0-)

                on the condition that it was an activity in which all students were able to participate with reasonable chances of excelling at it, or it was an activity of the student's choice. I think we can rule out football as meeting that light-years!

                "All war is stupid" - JFK

                by jorogo on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:19:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            • takes more than its share? (0+ / 0-)

              I think MANY coaches and athletic directors at high schools would disagree.  Football generates a significant amount of revenue.

              I ran a high school robotics club - we were short on funds for an out of state competition. The principal used one of the "gates" (single game football revenue) to cover the shortfall.  Oh, and those football players never got to travel to out of state games...

              This was at a school that had a mediocre football program with average attendance for a school its size.

        •  You know what else... (0+ / 0-)

          has effects "proven negative to ones brain development"...lack of exercise. -

          •  Yup (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wa ma, jorogo

            True, and there are cheaper ways to excercise. And less dangerous.

            •  Also true... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ichibon, IamGumby

              However my opinion is that in the face of the realities of today such as;
               - Record Levels of Obesity
               - Metabolic disorders at ages previously unheard of
               - Increased number of screens in children's lives

              That we need to utilize every opportunity to encourage beneficial/healthy habits. While there are indisputable dangers associated with playing football (and also with boxing, which I would also support) that the benefits outweigh the dangers.

              Team sports build confidence, teach loyalty/accountability, occupy countless hours when kids might otherwise be unsupervised, and encourage engagement. Participation also is associated with greater nutritional awareness, increased participation/accountability in terms of academic, decreased rates of drug usage. I could go on and on.

              Different people are drawn to different sports, but the popularity of football in this country is undeniable, it provides an activity which many children consider it "cool" to participate in, why discourage this?

              While it is certainly more expensive (and I do think there are limits (e.g. I don't ever think an academic course / department should be cut to fund football) I think that this is pretty clearly a case where discouraging participation because of the costs is pennywise & pound foolish

              •  Like I said, I draw a line (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sandblaster, wa ma, joey c, jorogo

                At sports that perpetuate violence and are highly correlated with sexist behavior and culture.

                I don't think the benefits you outline outweigh those costs.

                •  Fair enough... (0+ / 0-)

                  an honest difference of only word of caution echo's a comment up-thread (not sure who posted it), the problem of conceding to fee's for "optional" activities is that its usually an insidious, continuous creep to redefine the term optional

                  •  The point is it's not just fees (0+ / 0-)

                    for "optional" activities. There have been fees for going to school forever. Have you ever seen the list of supplies that are needed just to show up on the first day of school. There are binders for each subject, lined paper, pencils, pens, colored pencils or markers and backpacks to carry it all in. This is not new. This has been going on since I was in school back in the 60's.

                    •  like I said earlier (0+ / 0-)

                      penny wise & pound foolish; are there savings to tax payers by forcing students and their families to purchase the school supplies you mentioned? Yes, however I think that society more than pays for any such savings through decreased productivity, increased levels of crime and health issues, and lost economic activity, education is an investment which is sadly undervalued

                •  Why? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  wa ma

                  You are forcing a value judgement against hard competition on parents who may believe in it.

                  I don't think it's necessary for football, OR dance, OR lacrosse, OR band, OR robotics club to be sponsored by the school.

                  Anything that is necessary to get the maximum possible GPA and graduate w/class rank of 1 or obviously linked to top SAT scores should be covered. So, no textbook fees, no lab fees for science classes.

              •  And there are HOW many--- (0+ / 0-)

                And there are HOW many kids ON a football team?  11 and a few "extras"?  

                Soooo-----those ELEVEN kids (plus however many others)  get the drills and exercise and team work etc.

                The REST of the kids--can go scratch.  Or at least that IS the way it is here.  

                Will post more below as somehow the East has been left out of this post it seems.

      •  Taxpayers subsidize football enough at the expense (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sailorben, WillR, wa ma, Nulwee, jorogo

        of academics.

        In Japan, parents pay for all sports activities. They are held after school and are considered "clubs" that anyone can belong to. They put their focus on education and you can see how it benefits their kids because they do better than ours in school.

        When high schools spend money on big stadiums and focus on winning teams, they could be putting those funds towards the kids education. If people want the big stadiums,let them pay for them. Some of us just want our kids to do well in school with less emphasis put upon sports.

        Republicans are crazy, Democrats need to be useful and its up to us to save our democracy. Get to work.

        by Citizenpower on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:35:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Japanese education system is no better (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ichibon, bkamr, Nulwee

          As someone who taught in the Japanese school system for a decade... clubs in Japan are mandatory. Not to the letter of the law, of course, but... any child not participating in a club risks negative blowback from administration, other parents, and peers. We're talking full-scale bullying here. At every school I taught at, participation was 100%. Clubs eat up evenings and weekends, leaving the kids no time to relax and, well, be kids.
          Yes, Japanese kids "do better"... on standardized tests. What do standardized tests measure? The ability to take standardized tests. Japanese kids are great at memorizing huge chunks of info and spitting them back out on command, but they aren't taught what to do with the info. No creativity, no thinking outside the box, no personal insights. There is one proper way of thinking and doing, and anything else is wrong.
          How are they trying to reform their education system? By looking to the U.S. and how we allow our students to learn, instead of merely memorize.

          Odds and ends about life in Japan:

          by Hatrax on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:51:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can't speak to Japanese... (0+ / 0-)

   because in my business there are relatively few Japanese (those that I've run across did a fine job, but there just are not many of them).

            However, Chinese and Indian educated people in my field are typically much more qualified than the same student rank from a public US school. The cultures are quite different in how they deal with conflict and the like, but in knowing their stuff, on the average, they leave the US educated students in the dust.

            And, in engineering, there are definitely WRONG ways of thinking. Physics is a cruel master and wrong answers can result in deaths. If someone doesn't know enough to avoid thinking in one of the wrong ways, they are worse than useless.

            •  And can kill someone----- nt (0+ / 0-)
            •  My nephew has a phd in physics from Carnegie Mello (0+ / 0-)

              n and said that his greatest competition was from Indian,Chinese,Korean and Asian students in general.
              Had his father not been a math major he would not have been prepared for the rigors of his major.

              It is hard to rationalize our creative abilities when our science and math are so weak in comparison. I guess its good that so many immigrants want to come here and stretch their creative legs with their well-trained minds.

              Republicans are crazy, Democrats need to be useful and its up to us to save our democracy. Get to work.

              by Citizenpower on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 06:21:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  An issue for me would be that if you expect to not (6+ / 0-)

        pay any fees for football then also expect ANYONE to be able to sign up for football and to also receive full participation.

        If all young ones could participate on an equal basis then I would be more sympathetic to the argument.

        Wonders are many, but none so wonderful as man.

        by Morgan Sandlin on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:56:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sports in High School (0+ / 0-)

        Sports participation can be important for a couple of reasons. First, it might get you a scholarship. Second, it's a good thing to have on your college applications.

        And it's not just football. Football is usually a net positive for the school budget. Other sports are not.

        •  That's a pretty big "might"... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...and even if one receives scholarship assistance, it may not be a "full ride" outside the sports of basketball and football (and isn't guaranteed in those sports where smaller schools are concerned).

          I've been through this process--one of my kids is a scholarship athlete at an NAIA school--and I've seen coaches offer as low as 1/8 of a full scholarship where "minor" sports are concerned.

          The typical high school athlete is MUCH better served by maintaining higher academic performance; if you receive ANY academic scholarship monies at all, the athletic program can then offer a partial scholarship to cover the rest of the tab - and that makes you a MUCH more attractive candidate.

          Now, this may change dramatically for NCAA schools, given the recent court decisions (the O'Bannon case) and the larger autonomy granted to the "Power 5" conferences by the NCAA...but those changes are years in the future. Keep in mind that 90% of NCAA Division I athletic programs run in the red today; increasing the value of all scholarships to cover the full cost of attendance will be a backbreaker for many programs.

          The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

          by wesmorgan1 on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:39:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  In someways football (0+ / 0-)

        and other sports maintain the last vestiges of community spirit. May seem strange but its true. Especially in places like Texas, Ohio and

        •  Kentucky: high school basketball. (0+ / 0-)

          We don't do classes for basketball in Kentucky; all 270+ high schools in the state compete in one run of postseason tournaments for one state title. (The only other state that does it this way is Delaware, but that state has far fewer high schools than does Kentucky.)

          It's the original "March Madness" - 64 district tournaments of 3-5 teams each, with winners and runners-up advancing to 16 regional tournaments; the 16 regional winners then play for the state title...and we do it all in 3 weeks. The men's and women's tournaments run in parallel.

          Yes, it's definitely a community event, especially for the more rural schools.

          The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

          by wesmorgan1 on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:57:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  In the 1970s (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        We paid fees for music and sports, and had to sell crap to make funding for trips and instruments, etc. and this was in a well off suburb. Parents paid for unforms and athletic equipment and instruments and sheet music and bus travel to games and concerts and lesson fees and on and on.

        I'm sure it's worse now, but there never was a golden age of extracurricular activities being well funded even in relatively wealthy public school districts.

        Let's not idealize the past.

      •  If they have the program it must be free (0+ / 0-)

        If it isn't free then it isn't fair to poor families.
        Don't pay the Gatorade fees and send your kid with can't be serious ...when did we get this mean.
        These are kids.....

        "This is it ! ~ Nobody gets out of here alive" ~ concepts for living speech 1983

        by Leslie Sole on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 10:41:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Don't get me wrong.... I encourage your son to (13+ / 0-)

      play football, take up an instrument in the band, go to dance class....

      But if your Board of Ed has to trade off having a lab in the science class so that you can pay millions of dollars in liability insurance for the football teams, I'd toss the football team in a minute.

      Campaign for bond issuance by your board to pick up the costs... or raise your local sales taxes by a penny.  The money has to come from somewhere and either you pay it, or you and your neighbors pay it.  Don't expect it to come from lowering teacher salaries or cutting their pensions.

      We will never be free from fear as long as we fear the NRA.

      by captainlaser on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:26:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just as a nit-pick point (4+ / 0-)

        Bonds should only be used for permanent upgrades like facilities that will last the length of time that the district will pay on the bond. They should not (and in most cases it is not legal to) be used for ongoing expenses or consumable goods. I would say even using them for something like computers is pushing the envelope of appropriateness.

        But your larger point, that fundraising for football is far more optional than for science, I agree with. Often sports do bring in a fair amount of money to cover expenses through gate fees and earmarked donations.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:04:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Unfortunately our district passed a large bond (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elfling, flowerfarmer

          this year and a significant portion of it is going to pay for installation of artificial turf fields to be primarily used for after school athletics. These turf fields only last about 10 years and I believe the bond is a 30 year bond.

          So it looks like there is a good chance that the district will have to allocate millions of dollars from the general fund to replace the fields in the upcoming years. This is not how those funds should be spent.

        •  LOL yes---- (0+ / 0-)

          Our small rural school (largest graduating class was 76 kids 8 years ago)   had a "Directed Donation"  left to provide for a FABULOUS new track and field.

          The only problem is--they were FORCED to use this money ON that new track and field just as the school census dropped to less than HALF what it had been just 8 years ago---this years K and 1st, 2nd and 3rd all have LESS than 30 kids PER GRADE LEVEL.

          They no longer have ENOUGH HS kids to PLAY football at a proper competitive level so they had to get a team together with another team some 20 miles down the road.

          Both of these teams--former bitter rivals---were tops in the HS football rankings just a few short years ago.

          Where did all the kids GO?????

          Sooooo now we HAVE that fab field and it gets very little use.  Looks great out there tho.  

          Meanwhile we COULD use some new things for the actual BENEFIT of the school----

      •  I think Mark's argument, and mine, as well, is.... (4+ / 0-)

        It shouldn't be a trade-off.

        One of the most insidious things in the past decade in public education is that funding has been squeezed to the point that parents/teachers/communities are being pushed into a position where they are compelled to defend their programs by running down others. I've been in school board meetings where these kind of debates took place. It was gutting to see it happen.

        And, while I can't speak for all states, in California bonds can only be done for construction. Anything else requires a parcel tax, which requires a supermajority, and is exceedingly difficult to pass.

        "Every one is king when there's no one left to pawn" (BRMC)
        Contributing Editor, Daily Kos/Daily Kos Elections

        by Steve Singiser on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:53:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  yes and no (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sailorben, bkamr, WillR, wa ma, flowerfarmer

        I believe absolutely in a diverse, renaissance, education.  If one does not know how to write a sonnet, use a lab for a valid science experiment, draw, paint, play a sport, play an instrument, then one's education is incomplete.  We must fund programs that promote such an education, and such programs must promoted for all students, so all students, not just a select few, receive such an education.

        The key element, to me, is that an expenditure serves all students.  For instance a district might spend money on buying software, but that software is used for all students, not just for students that pass an audition.  Likewise, athletic funding for classes that are required for all students is also neccesary.  Now, I can imagine a special school for football players where all equipment is paid for by the district, but such schools do not exist. Even if it were,t here would be expenses.  I went to special schools most of my life, all public schools, and a great deal of additional equipment was funded, but there were still expenses.  For instance, in today's dollars it cost about $100 for technical equipment necessary for my first year of high school.

        So this is why I don't support funding for after school athletics or anything like it.  They do not serve all students.  We are paying for specific students to engage in specific activities. These students are often not even chosen in any objective manner.  Many are chosen because the coach or sponsor 'likes them'. Talented troublesome kids, or less talented discipline kids, are often not given a even chance.  We might as well provide funds for kids who want to travel the country making sidewalk art.  It would be a good thing, but then most would balk at budgeting it.

        She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is doing. -Kurt Vonnegut Life is serious but we don't have to be - me

        by lowt on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:43:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I also think it's important to recognize that the (0+ / 0-)

          more privileged kids have an advantage in sports over their less privileged classmates when they show up at the school door. Many of the more privileged kids come from families that have had their kids in rec or expensive club sports since kindergarten or even earlier.

          The more privileged kids show up with skills and training that give them advantages that make it more likely they'll make the school teams and feel successful. This phenomena isn't exclusive to sports because it can also happen with regards to music, drama, dance, etc.

          There are kids who realistically don't easily fit in in these kinds of activities. There are kids with disabilities who aren't so disabled that they would be qualified for something like school-based Special Olympics Unified Soccer but also aren't kids who are looking to enhance a college application with extracurricular activities because they aren't bound for a 4 year college.

          These are kids who also may need to devote a lot of time to homework and receiving tutoring or extra help after school just to pass their classes and graduate. Graduation requirements for academic classes are getting increasingly more stringent.

          Of course, in my opinion this may have come at the cost of health and fitness. When I was in high school we were required to have six semesters of PE. My daughter is only required to have two.

    •  Then you are not reading the whole list... (7+ / 0-)

      Activity Fee: $30.00
      Consumable Material Fee: $17.00
      Planner: $5.00
      SCI111-Course Fee Yr: $4.00
      Textbook Fee: $35.00

      "Republicans only care about the rich" - George W. Andersen - my late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

      by Mark E Andersen on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:01:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think we need to maintain perspective here. (0+ / 0-)

        Sure, those are costs of sending your child to a publicly-funded school for a publicly-mandated education, but I just paid way more than what that list totals just in recording fees for a publicly-mandated human waste disposal system, and that's after I paid my property taxes to help support a school system which I have no children to send to. It didn't occur to me to complain, but then I didn't open this discussion.

        "All war is stupid" - JFK

        by jorogo on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:41:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not every Family has the Money, 2-3 kids, (0+ / 0-)

      If your kids take part in athletics it's good for them, not sure about football at all.
      But a poor kid should not be embarrassed out of trying for a team. If the program is there, then no gatekeeper fees.
      Get human.
      My grandfather and other firemen used to buy 10-15 kids Ice Skates so they could play organized hockey.
      Get Human.

      "This is it ! ~ Nobody gets out of here alive" ~ concepts for living speech 1983

      by Leslie Sole on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 10:35:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The district where I teach was sued by a (38+ / 0-)

    parent group. They won the suit.  Basically, anything that is required for the instructional program must be provided by the system:  text books, work books, supplies etc.  There are fees for extra curricular activities but stuff for the classroom must be paid for by the school.  Often it's the teachers who end up buying stuff for the students.

    “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

    by musiclady on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:36:32 PM PDT

    •  It bears saying (11+ / 0-)

      Most of the older politicians had University paid for by the government.
      What is the fucking problem now?
      Why do they think other not getting what they did is "equal"?

      UCLA & USC used to be free if you had the grades.

      Idiocracy seems to be the goal and I'm not pleased.

      I would tell you the only word in the English language that has all the vowels in order but, that would be facetious.

      by roninkai on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:16:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  are you in Montgomery County, MD too? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bkamr, Cassandra Waites

      I know about that ruling.
      However, I did notice that despite this ruling, there are things that are required that are not covered. For example, a graphing calculator. There are ones for every kid in the classroom, but they can't take them home. So what does a kid without $100 for a graphing calculator do about their homework? Apparently there are ways to get lower cost used ones and also I've heard of some being lent out to students but they're not clearly and readily available.  Seems to me that they should be provided to every student if they are required.
      I'm not complaining for us -- we can afford it (and have bought one for each of our girls who were far enough apart in age that they couldn't be used as hand-me-downs). But probably about 40% of the families in my daughter's school would have trouble buying one since that's about the percentage on free&reduced meals.

      While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

      by Tamar on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:28:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Extra curricular (15+ / 0-)

    Consumable Material Fee: $17.00
    Planner: $5.00
    SCI111-Course Fee Yr: $4.00
    Textbook Fee: $35.00
    These are the only fees that I would question especially the textbook fee.  The rest are contingent on your son's participation.  He isn't required to participate in football.  Should the taxpayer pay for your son to play?

    •  In order to pursue higher education... (12+ / 0-)

      Colleges routinely focus admittance of students who have demonstrated involvement in extra-curricular activities. Athletics, cheerleading, chess, dance, glee, orchestra, etc... all of those require numerous fees and are not "optional" like you are trying to portray it. The only option is which one to pursue, but to not pursue in not an option.

      So, to answer your question "Should the taxpayer pay for your son to play?" My answer is "Yes." If the school is offering it then it should paid for.

      •  And yet (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        historys mysteries

        colleges are being sued for using race as an admission criteria, not "how many clubs did you join in high school?"

        30, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

        by TDDVandy on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:21:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If you take the position... (6+ / 0-)

        ... that anything that might impact college admissions is part of a free K-12 education, then you are essentially commiting the taxpayers to a bottomless mandate.  I am sure colleges would be super-impressed if all the kids spent a summer traveling Europe and volunteering. Should Wisconsin pay for that for every student too?  Heck, let's cut straight to the chase; if a "Friend of the University" makes a million dollar contribution with the understanding that a particular person will get it, then that will probably happen (such as how GWB got into Yale).  Should Wisconsin taxpayers pay for that too?  I am on board with education being free, but extra curriculars are extra.  

        •  You are offering a strawman argument. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I have stated if a school is offering an extra-curricular activity then it should be paid for. It would have to be up to the local community, and the state to decide what to offer. I would expect (a little naive here) that it would be equal across the board regarding all school districts within a state. If a trip to Europe should be an option, then it should apply across the board without any costs to the parents and teachers.

          •  Sorry, but that's BIG TIME naive. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wa ma

            Most school boards are elected. 'Nuff said.

            The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

            by wesmorgan1 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 08:33:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ah, no. (0+ / 0-)

              Most school curriculum are imposed by the state. Hence most state testing requirements. I am sure you felt quite proud when you said, "Most school boards are elected. 'Nuff said." But, no. Not enough.

              •  Ah...the problem isn't on my end. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wa ma, Just Some Guy

                You wrote:

                I have stated if a school is offering an extra-curricular activity then it should be paid for. It would have to be up to the local community, and the state to decide what to offer.
                Now you say:
                Most school curriculum are imposed by the state.
                So, which is it - extracurrircular activities or the state-mandated curriculum?

                Nonetheless, my argument stands. You offered two possibilities - either the local community would control extracurriculars (which is pretty much how it stands today; there are laws such as Title IX which regulate how public schools must offer such things if they choose to do so, but there is no statutory requirement that they have extracurricular activities at all) or the state would control them.  Even when the state mandates an academic curriculum, however, local hiring/budgeting is still vested in the local school boards. I'll address each of those points in turn:

                1) Local control: Most school boards are elected, and there's a big element of "all politics is local" in the decision-making processes of elected school boards. So, yeah, popular extracurricular programs would be likely to get preferential treatment. How do you think the "football or choir?" question would be answered by most school boards when budget time comes around? We have already seen the answer to that question in the decline of arts programs among the public schools, haven't we? It's naive to think that the demonstrated preferences of local school boards for particular extracurricular activities will somehow cease to exist.

                2) State control: You suggested that the state could devise a scheme for extracurriculars that would be "equal across the board regarding all school districts". Well, my state has 170+ public school districts, and their enrollments range from 95,000 students down to 350 (Yes, that's a full K-12 district with 350 students.) I'd be very interested in your ideas about how the state might create an "equal across the board" policy for extracurricular activities that can be implemented at both ends of that spectrum AND be fair to the students whose opportunities would be enabled--or proscribed--in the process. I think you're naive to suggest so cavalierly that the state could implement such a thing.

                3) The question of tax bases affects both local or state control of extracurricular activities in the schools. Let's take another look at the largest/smallest school districts in my state. The largest (95,000 students) has a resident population of 750,000, a median income of $47,000 and a poverty rate of 16.5%; the smallest (350 students) has a resident population of 2200, a median income of $29,000 and a poverty rate of 26%. Given those figures, how do you expect their respective school boards to implement this theoretical "equal across the board" policy for extracurricular activities? I think you're naive not to consider the financial demands of your "whatever the school offers should be paid for" argument.

                The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                by wesmorgan1 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 10:43:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  You mean PRIVATE colleges/universities? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Just Some Guy, coffeetalk, joey c

        In my state, admissions criteria for the public universities is a simple sliding scale, based on the student's high school GPA and their ACT score.  In other words, given an ACT score of X, a high school GPA of Y.Z or higher guarantees admission. Extracurriculars have ZERO effect on the admissions decision.

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 10:38:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was going to post a similar reply... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wa ma, Just Some Guy

          The are plenty of colleges that will admit you whether or not you were the commodore of the high school sailing club. If you have good grades you will be good to go. There are also many, many, many state heartbeat schools that will take anyone that can produce a high school diploma (or a facsimile Even many of those will get you a good result if you buckle down and take advantage of what they have to offer.

          Now if yu want to get into Harvard or the school where I now teach, you are going to need extracurricular everything out the wazoo, but I don't think there is any particular "right" to be able to get into Harvard.

      •  No (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Just Some Guy

        I like hs football but why should I pay for someone's son to play.  I already pay for the stadium and the coaches.

      •  I was accepted at Ivy League schools-- (0+ / 0-)

        I was accepted at Ivy League schools back in the 70's and had NEVER spent a minute on any playing field;  in fact having spent most of my HS years on crutches this would have been impossible.  

        This is back in the day when your GRADES were what got you in to school and kept you there.  

        I chose a different path but this is not the ONLY way school admit officers look at you--then or now.

    •  As a taxpayer (20+ / 0-)

      I answer yes. Not just sports but art and music as well. Society profits from having  a well rounded populace. IMO.

      •  Absolutely. (8+ / 0-)

        I can't believe we're having this discussion on a "liberal" site.

        A sanctimonious member of the Professional Left since 1967.

        by slatsg on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:58:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Liberals have to balance budgets, too... (5+ / 0-)

          School districts don't have the luxury of running deficits, nor can they issue bonds to cover operating expenses.

          Thus, we have to make difficult decisions.

          The purpose of the public schools is not to be all things to all students; rather, it is to deliver a consistent level of academic instruction to its students.

          So, yes, I believe that students who wish to go beyond that basic level of instruction should pay some portion of the additional costs. That applies to activities both academic (e.g. we pay the cost of AP tests for our kids) and extracurricular (e.g. proper football helmets run $300 apiece).

          Sure, there's a balance to be struck, but it's wishful thinking to argue that all 14,000+ public school districts across the country can fund equivalent activities all their students AND cover every activity/course some students might want.

          The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

          by wesmorgan1 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 08:52:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The problem is, at what point do we draw the line? (0+ / 0-)

            Required courses are paid for, but electives are not? Keep in mind that most high schools require a certain number of 'credits' in various categories to graduate, and the required classes aren't enough.

            Passing (C) grades are paid for, but additional classroom instruction, study assistance, or other things needed to boost that grade to an A costs extra?

            Perhaps we could adopt the Free to Play, Pay to Win model of modern gaming - all students can 'ATTEND' school, but only ones with money will be given opportunities to excel?

            Yes I'm being slightly facetious here.  I believe that for public schools, the PUBLIC should pick up the tab.  If you live or do business in the district, your local property and sales taxes should be high enough to cover the cost.

            Otherwise it's not a public school, it's a "publicly-owned private" school, where those with $$ get more than those without.  

            If your sole and entire rationale for doing something is "It's not illegal." then perhaps you should rethink doing it.

            by dcnblues on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 02:40:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  No question! (9+ / 0-)

        A free public education should mean a free public education. It is outrageous the amount of money teachers and parents have to take out of their own pockets to give a well rounded education to students.

        •  "free public *well-rounded* education"? (0+ / 0-)

          In general I concur with your position that " Athletics, cheerleading, chess, dance, glee, orchestra, etc..." ought to be available without charge to students at public schools.

          At the same time, I have no problem with certain items being considered "luxury" or otherwise extra and thus having fees attached. Football, they need to just end entirely, it's violent and dangerous and stupefying, but if it's going to continue being offered then huge fees should be charged. We students had to raise money to pay for every trip I ever went on (Canada in 5th grade, Washington in 8th grade, Europe in 11th) and I see no problem with that continuing - those trips were as much social as educational.

          By contrast, I'd definitely conclude that art, music, chess, theater, and such activities ought to be considers part of the package that the school offers and provided free of charge accordingly.

          Thus, it all really comes down to what we each think is entailed in the free education the government is supposed to provide.

          "You try to vote or participate in the government/ and the muh'fuckin' Democrats is actin' like Republicans" ~ Kweli -8.00, -6.56

          by joey c on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 11:33:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And it benefits when segregation by income (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mike Kahlow, Woody, bkamr

        stays the hell OUT of school-sponsored activities.

      •  Well.... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sailorben, wa ma, joey c

        ...I'm in basic agreement.  But that doesn't mean it has to be the most expensive sports.  

        Football particularly - with all the needed equipment - is a colossal waste of education dollars that are needed elsewhere...and should never be publicly funded.  Plenty of cheap sports that can build a well rounded populace.

        •  In your opinion... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber

          ...they also don't buy new pads and uniforms every single year.

          "Republicans only care about the rich" - George W. Andersen - my late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

          by Mark E Andersen on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:15:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well It's a FACT, Not My Opinion (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Just Some Guy

            ..that football uniforms/equipment are more expensive than most other high school sports.   Offhand I'd say only the areas of the country that offer ice hockey would (maybe) be able to dispute that.

            You may not like that FACT, but it is a FACT.

            Now it's true that I reasoned from that fact to my opinion that football is not a cost effective way of meeting the need to supply athletics as part of a well rounded education. If you disagree with that then argue otherwise....but your argument has to start from the FACT that yes, football s a lot more expensive than most other sports.

            •  Polo--- (0+ / 0-)

              Ask your school district to fund a Polo Team.  

              Once they see the expenses for THAT football will look like the Dollar Store Sport

              They don't call it The Sport Of Kings for no reason after all.

              And if you think your lil' horse lovin darlin' would LIKE to go to a Polo Team school--check out the tuition to SKIDMORE.  

              And yes you DO get to bring along your OWN string of Polo Ponies.  Please note the use of the PLURAL here.  

              And yes yes I DO know that Skidmore is a private college.  

          •  Actually, most schools DO buy SOME new gear... (0+ / 0-)

            ...every year.  There aren't too many schools out there with the financial wherewithal to outfit a football team from scratch every few years.

            I believe our football program replaces 5-7 helmets each year, as well as an equal number of shoulder pads.

            The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

            by wesmorgan1 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 08:55:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Of course, you're assuming equal funding... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There are more than 14,000 school districts in the US, and we spend more than $500 billion each year in Federal, state and local spending for education. Obviously, those 14,000 districts do not have equal tax bases upon which to draw.

        Go take a look at the NYTimes recent article on "the hardest places to live in America".

        Start with the counties colored orange - unemployment still in double digits, median income $30,000/year or less, etc. - and tell me how they're going to fund EVERYTHING on the wish list.

        I don't disagree that sports and the arts have great value to offer, but I'd prefer that my tax monies go toward "bang for the buck" in those academic disciplines that affect the most students.

        I say that as a parent who has paid for basketball, football, softball, choir/chorus, band, academic team...

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 08:43:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Who collects the money from the admission fees to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the football games?  The school, I'll bet.  

      •  In Madison... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glen The Plumber

        ....the school district collects the admission fees and they go into the general fund.

        "Republicans only care about the rich" - George W. Andersen - my late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

        by Mark E Andersen on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:16:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Do they disclose ? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shaylors Provence

        How many fee-payers know how much the coaches are paid?

        (Hint: It's more than regular teachers, and most districts try to keep that info hushed up.)

        •  In NY at least--- (0+ / 0-)

          In NY at least all you have to do is go to the Office and ASK and all will be revealed--they HAVE to disclose how much EVERYONE is paid.

          So this also leads to leafletting parents standing outside the school on activity nights with handouts detailing that the JANITORS make MORE than the TEACHERS do---and the obscene amount the Supt's make.  

          Teachers spend all day in the class room;  the Supt's spend all day in the airconditioned office listening to complaints from parents and staff.

          Which job do YOU think deserves the combat pay?

  •  I wonder about school funding, too (13+ / 0-)

    It does amaze me that schools seemed better funded when I was a kid, though there were so many more of us baby boomers relative to the working population than now. I think, like everything else, this is due to the fact that middle class incomes have been flat for 40 years, while more has gone to the top 1 percent.

    •  Schools have more responsibilities now (7+ / 0-)

      For example, special ed requirements only date to the mid 1970s. These students can be expensive to educate and before then often they weren't.

      No one fretted too much if kids dropped out of high school. So, kids fell through the cracks. We spend money now trying to prevent that that didn't used to be spent.

      Health care is a substantial percentage of the payroll of most school districts. Health insurance has increased enormously (and by the way, it's why when people compare education spending internationally, that the US looks to spend more. It's almost all explained by health insurance and health care costs and the difference in how that is accounted.)

      Teachers were poorly paid and a lot were women, in a time when the workforce wasn't totally open to women, which drove their wages down.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:09:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Classroom sizes were also large. 35 in my (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bkamr, elfling

        elementary school was routine. Sadly, seems like classroom sizes are now going back up.
        Also, the cost of equipment is probably way higher than it used to be. I finished public high school in 1966 -- simple-minded lab equipment (beakers, bunsen burners), a few slide and film projectors, a pull-down screen and blackboard (and chalk) in each room, one mimeograph machine in the main office.
        Now the equipment needed to get kids ready for real life is much more extensive.
        I'm not one of those "why can't they be educated in a one-room schoolhouse like I was" people. I think the schools absolutely need to have up-to-date equipment if we want our children to be able to manage in the world. The truth is that my children are need to know a whole hell of a lot more than I did when they finish high school.

        While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

        by Tamar on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:36:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, my classes were very large also (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Elementary was 35+, and my HS math classes were 45.

          My daughter is fortunate to attend a school where class size has been a priority. Her math and english HS classes will have ~20.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 09:25:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  As far as special ed kids go, many schools and (0+ / 0-)

        districts are not doing a good job of educating these kids in spite of getting extra funding to do so. These kids are entitled to a free appropriate public education but instead of getting the specially designed instruction that is part of their Individual Education Plans, they get a one-size fits all education offering minimal intervention and support. This is especially true for many learning-disabled high school students.

        The parents of these kids invest a lot of money out-of-pocket in their kids' education to pay for private tutoring and therapies to make up for what the school is not providing. I have a lot more sympathy for these parents than the ones who have to pay a portion of the cost of their kids participating in fun activities outside of the school day.

        •  It definitely is uneven district to district (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          as far as how seriously those obligations are met.

          That said, the amount of extra money sent to schools is well short of the costs for special education. IIRC federal funds pick up only around 15% of the cost. Any district meeting their responsibility is pulling money out of the general fund to cover these kids even to the extent that they are now.

          Either way, among the effects is to create a larger cost per student when averaged over the entire population, which has the confusing effect of making people think that their child's district is spending a lot more on ordinary education expenses than they are.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 06:57:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The amount districts get from the state does (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            make a big difference. You're right that the federal government is completely failing to meet their obligation and to fund districts at the level they promised when IDEA was passed.

            Our state is under a court order to fully fund basic education (which although it doesn't sound like it, includes special education) but they have not yet done so and are only making very slow progress towards doing so.

            Some of our district's local levy funds go toward the special education budget but not much considering 13% of students in the district receive special education services. Without going into all the specifics, I have studied in detail my district's budget for the last few years and the way the local funds are spent. Relative to the proportion of special ed students in the district, the district is spending very little local funds on special ed students compared to how they're spending local funds on things like extracurricular activities.

            When the district got extra funding last year and this year from the state to comply with the court order, they did not increase the special ed budget at all but did cut fees for extracurricular activities and did increase funding for programs other than special ed. It's depressing to say the least.

            •  Wait--- (0+ / 0-)

              IF they got some sort of funds ALLOCATED to be spent on a particular group or program and they FAILED to do that--then you have a good grounds to SUE them--has this been REPORTED to you State Board of Education????

              Where is your Over Sight Committee????

              How did your district get away with this????

              •  Our district is just getting a parent group up and (0+ / 0-)

                running. I pushed for this and helped get the ball rolling but haven't been as involved as I should have been so far. (Part of that is my discouragement over what I think is happening in terms of how they are spending money, without knowing for sure what is happening.) My state doesn't mandate any kind of oversight committee so trying to form a group that works cooperatively with the district is where things are starting but I think it can't realistically be called an oversight committee.

                We just haven't had a culture of active parents advocating as a group ever at the district as far as I know. Part of my delay in getting involved with the emerging district-sponsored group is that I have some ambivalence about how effective it will be in providing oversight or accountability.

                I think there are some gray areas in how they can allocate and account for funds so I'm not certain they're not operating within the law and since I'm not an expert in school finance. (I think Response to Intervention possibly muddies the water a bit.) I can't be sure but I have enough concerns that I am considering contacting the state to find out what would be needed to request an audit.

                I haven't looked at this year's final budget yet but when I looked at the preliminary one they proposed adding teachers for the special day classes without increasing the overall special ed budget at all. It just seems a convenient coincidence that when they needed new life skills teachers they suddenly needed fewer resource room teachers even though enrollment is steady.

        •  THANK YOU ^^^^^^^^^^^ nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  Schools are doing FAR more today... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wa ma

      In terms of both academic courses and extracurricular activities, many public high schools have broadened their scope to a remarkable degree.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 09:05:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Most of this come from the sports craze (12+ / 0-)

    It stinks that you have to pay those fees. $360 of what you list is just for the sports your son wants to play. My daughter was interested in volleyball and we had to pay those fees, and oh yeah, if you wanted to make the sophomore team you have to sign up for club teams in the off season, another $500. The director of the club team made over $100,000. To coach high school volleyball??? My daughter didn’t make the sophomore team, and it ended up saving us thousands of dollars. I think that while it does say something about how they are taking fees out of parents now, only $61 is required for the whole year. The rest is optional or sports related.

    It says much more about the crazy importance that inter-school sports have.

    Impossible is nothing

    by DrSpike on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:40:53 PM PDT

    •  No. (10+ / 0-)

      It comes from paying the idiots who run the schools like they are fortune 500 CEO's.

      Teachers (who do the work) and students get the shaft.

      I would tell you the only word in the English language that has all the vowels in order but, that would be facetious.

      by roninkai on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:18:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Starting in the Reagan adminstration (12+ / 0-)

      When the federal Dept of Health Education & Welfare was eliminated, federal funding for public education started to be reduced & the cost was passed along to the states.
      The states passed most of the costs of public education to their municipalities.

      Most of the municipal property taxes are funding their districts' public schools. As Jonathan Kozol's 1991 work

      Savage Inequalilties
      details, the result has been for more affluent districts having, for the most part, top-grade public education, with beautiful campuses & better curriculum programs, while the poorer districts, which take a higher rate from their taxpayers who are poorer, have crumbling infrastructure, fewer supplies & less curriculum offerings, as these are harder to fund.

      20 years ago, I attended a public hearing when my daughter's school district was debating whether or not they could fund the Gifted & Talented program. I pointed out that not every student would qualify for that program, but that it is beneficial to fund it for those who would be able to participate, just as not every student who tries out for the sports programs will qualify, but that the sports programs should be funded because the benefit to those who participate in the programs would last them for the rest of their lives.

      It is outrageous that we should have to debate this--but until federal funding for public education is restored to the same rates as before 1981, and increased as needed, we will have poor public schools, with fees for activities, textbooks & other supplies, that had been covered by federal funding in the 1950's through the 1970's.

    •  Kleenex (every family had to contribute 2 boxes) (13+ / 0-)

      isn't sports-related.  I'm not kidding, we got a supply list of things we had to go buy, and bring in to the classroom for everyone to use.  Two boxes of kleenex.  The cuts have schools nickel and dime-ing parents all over.

      As to sports, if you charge for sports, the kids whose families can't really afford the fee won't join the team. (And it's a RARE family that will ask for the fee to be waived.  If they're working poor, they probably just don't want to give up that last bit of pride.) The impact isn't just that the kid doesn't get to play the sport, the kid doesn't get the whole team experience - no trips to the other schools, no team dinners, no team picture in the paper, and no sports on the school record.  More importantly, no coach's recommendation for college.  It isn't academic, but admissions officers know that a coach has spent lots more time with the student than most of the teachers have.  Especially if the athlete has talent, the coach-to-coach recommendation can make all the difference.

      There's already so many hurdles for lower income kids, why do ANYTHING that would tip the balance toward making school a less positive experience.  

      •  I used to cry every August (11+ / 0-)

        with 3 kids, the nickles and dimes added up to $100s of dollars, plus getting 3 pairs of jeans (one to wash, one to wear, one for tomorrow or accidents) for 3 kids, one with special order sizes.  All on a salary of $880 a month gross and a lousy $300 in child support, when it rarely came in on time.  When the kids wanted school jackets of $50 each, I had to say oh, hell, no.  One year and one year only they got free lunch.  Yep, this was all under Saint Ronnie the Asshole.  Bad memories.

        Nothing pithy here

        by sow hat on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:09:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The list of supplies for the classroom (7+ / 0-)

        for public school in NYC included the usual composition books and pencils and crayons etc but also included:

        Paper Towels
        Copy Paper

        The first day of school was insanity trying to haul it all to school until I realized we could take it in a little at a time in the first week of school.  I was lucky, it wasn't a financial hardship to do this but what about the parents for whom it was a hardship?

        There were also times mid year when the classroom would be running low and they would ask parents to bring in more.

        Why yes there is a war on women and minorities.

        by karma5230 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:43:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  whatever of that isn't supplied by the families (7+ / 0-)

          comes out of the pockets of the classroom teacher. Even with all the things the kids bring in, teachers I know tell me they have to pay for a lot of supplies.
          At a parent meeting at my daughter's high school a couple of nights ago, the PTSA president said they're raising money to buy more lunch seating. I'm going to go to the next PTSA meeting and ask why the school system, a very wealthy school system, isn't paying for that. Seems to me that chairs are pretty basic and are part of the school system's responsibility. I'd rather any money that gets raised by the PTSA be used for the extras that the school system isn't responsible for -- things to help the kids from lower income families.
          (the PTSA president said that the kids sit in the hallways on the floor during lunch. But the cafeteria's way too small to hold all the kids anyway, so I don't see how $9000 spent on more chairs helps. And the kids like gathering in the halls and eating and have been doing it for 15 years in that school without a problem. My older daughter who graduated 12 years ago from the school talks about it fondly).

          While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

          by Tamar on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:47:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Last year, I spent over $1300 out of my own (6+ / 0-)

            pocket to run my science classes, last year.  My school provided budget was 89 cents per student for the entire year, so obviously I had to spend my own money if we were going to do labs.  

            I only get to deduct $200 on my taxes for my out-of-pocket class expenses. I think I ought to be able to at least deduct the entire amount like businesses do.  

            It's very difficult for my family to go without, so my students don't have to.  This year, we got permission to do a fundraiser, so I probably won't have to shell out as much which will be a big help.  We're facing college expenses for our son, next year, and I simply won't be able to spend my own money for labs, next year.

            Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

            by bkamr on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 08:26:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's absurd to expect teachers to pay for (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mostel26, bkamr, flowerfarmer

              necessary classroom materials.
              I hope your fundraiser works but it's also absurd to have a fundraiser when these are the sorts of things that should be funded by taxes. Perhaps if capital gains were taxed at the same rate as earned income, there would be enough money for supplies in the classroom.

              While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

              by Tamar on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 11:34:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  in the post-Prop 13 era, all extracurricular (10+ / 0-)

    activities are problematic and with respect, soccer is the global football sport that is more cost effective assuming your son is not going to the NFL. Fees have been the sadly unfair as you chronicle and unethical/illegal method for school districts to work around funding inequities. The real problems are legislative in terms of inequitable district financing formulas

    California public schools, which during the 1960s had been ranked nationally as among the best, have decreased to 48th in many surveys of student achievement. Some have disputed the attribution of the decline to Proposition 13's role in the change to state financing of public schools, because schools financed mostly by property taxes were declared unconstitutional (the variances in funding between lower and higher income areas being deemed to violate the equal protection clause) in Serrano vs. Priest, and Proposition 13 was then passed partially as a result of that case. California's spending per pupil was the same as the national average until about 1985, when it began decreasing, which resulted in another referendum, Proposition 98, that requires a certain percentage of the state's budget to be directed towards education.
    For decades, California had enjoyed full funding for its schools and unsurpassed educational programs. Then in 1978, California voters approved Proposition 13 in an attempt to cut property taxes. The state’s public school system and its employees would never be the same.

    By 1995, California plummeted from fifth in the country to 40th in school spending. Classified employees, who had finally gotten a piece of the pie through collective bargaining, found that there just wasn’t much to go around. Many school programs such as music, art and athletics simply vanished, and classified employees who worked in those programs lost their jobs or were shuffled around. By the late 1980s, schools, parents and even some of the voters who passed Prop.13, were tired of the funding shortfalls.

    The California Teachers Association (CTA), along with CSEA and other members of the education community, led the charge for a second ballot initiative. In 1988, Prop. 98 was passed to guarantee a minimum level of state funding for public schools. It is a complicated formula,at times it has been manipulated by politicians, but it stabilized revenue for the state’s public schools.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:42:44 PM PDT

  •  Mixed feelings (8+ / 0-)

    I have mixed feelings about this article. Four of the items listed probably are educational expenses. Some I cannot tell because I do not know what "SCI111-Course Fee Yr: $4.00" means for example. Many of the items are not direct education expenses which should be paid by the taxpayers. I am sorry but "Optional Student Athletic Pass: $20.00" is not a direct educational expense which should be paid by the taxpayers. "Optional Yearbook: $47.00" would be causing me to write a letter to the editor if I was paying it through my taxes. Optional in the name says it all.

    •  Many "optional" fees are really not optional. (9+ / 0-)

      The yearbook, yes, you really don't have to purchase a yearbook. However, there's even graduation fees.  You can complete your entire high school coursework with straight A's and not be allowed to graduate because you did not pay the fee. It is getting ludicrous at the amount of money cash strapped parents (and teachers) are having to shill out for their child's "public education."

    •  Optional (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bkamr, Mostel26, Cassandra Waites

      Where I went to school in Texas, even just getting photographed to get your picture in the yearbook was not so damn cheap.

      As a result, the yearbook was for the white kids, with few Hispanics and fewer blacks pictured.

      I know they got the message they weren't wanted in the school.

      •  My daughter is just starting her sophomore year. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IamGumby, flowerfarmer

        I was fortunate enough to get a very nice camera and editing software last year that I am still learning to use. After looking at my daughter's yearbook last year, I realized there are a lot of kids who don't get a good graduation picture because it is financially out of reach. (When I was in high school all seniors used the same photographer and it was reasonably priced.)

        I'm hoping to get skilled enough at taking photos that I can offer to take some for my daughter's classmates who wouldn't otherwise get them for their senior year. Kids shouldn't feel unwanted.

    •  Yearbook fee (0+ / 0-)

      If the Yearbook costs $47 for those who opt for it, in my Small Town Texas High School, most of the Anglos would pay it, a few of the Hispanics, and fewer blacks.

      Guestimate that half the students, say 700 of them, bought yearbooks. How much more would it cost to print another 700 copies? The big printing costs are up front. Once the pages are coming off the press the costs are paper, binding, transportation to point of sale. So I'm thinking the cost per for 1,400 copies would be more like $30 or $35 each.

      But if the district paid for them all, we wouldn't be able to so nicely separate those with $47 and those without. And we need to remind the poor of their place in life before they get out of school with the wrong ambitions. Understanding their social and economic class is an important part of those students education.

      •  Maybe they should offer the option of purchasing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        an actual yearbook and/or a digital copy. I would think with smart phones and such that kids could even sign each other's digital yearbooks fairly easily.

        •  YEs but---- (0+ / 0-)

          This might sound snarkier than I mean it to but---

          A BIG part of "Yearbook"  is having that huge colorful book IN YOUR HANDS and having all the OTHER moneyed kids SIGN IT---

          If you don't HAVE the money to BUY one you cannot be walking thru the halls with it and your FRIENDS won't be signing it.  I am sure the kids who DO have the $$$ to purchase it probably don't see it this way but it is the TRUTH.

          I know my parents refused to "give"  me money to buy one--and I came from a well to do family and went to school in a very rich district.  I could laugh it off but--it did matter a bit to me.  And when it came time for my kids--in a VERY different economic situation---we made sure they got one.  Wasn't cheap and I doubt they have much looked at them since but would NOT have had them be the ones without.  

          You do have to bleed for the kids on the other side of that financial divide.

  •  the key is the shifting of the tax burden (24+ / 0-)

    It started at the federal level - the one thing from Reagan that really did trickle down. They cut revenue (by slashing taxes from the largest contributors), then - surprise surprise - there's no money for schools and municipal services etc. (I believe - btw - that's a feature not a bug...)

    when I see a republican on tv, I always think of Monty Python: "Shut your festering gob you tit! Your type makes me puke!"

    by bunsk on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:45:26 PM PDT

    •  Don't forget tax abatements (7+ / 0-)

      During the height of Sam Brownback's Great Economic Experiment there were these ads playing in Missouri (usually narrated by a little golden haired child) telling how Missourians were going to lose their tax base to Kansas as all the businesses moved to Kansas where they would not have to pay any taxes at all. ???? If they don't have to pay any taxes they're not a tax base are they?

      And then there were all the downtown gentrification projects -- all with tax abatements.

      Light is seen through a small hole.

      by houyhnhnm on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:58:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What are you referring to when you say (0+ / 0-)

      "that's a feature not a bug..."

      I am not able to cogitate the meaning behind the words?

      Its a feature of what?

      •  Rich vs poor (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jbsoul, Cassandra Waites

        A feature of the policy of slashing taxes on the rich is that it cuts funds available for the schools and other public services.

        Gutting government programs, including free public schools for the working people, is a feature (an expected and desired consequence) of the tax cuts for the rich.

  •  Football is bad for kids anyway. (9+ / 0-)

    I love watching pro football but nobody should be permitted to play it until they're able to give informed consent and to me that's 18.  It sounds like this would solve some other problems, too.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:45:31 PM PDT

    •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bongojazz, ER Doc

      Football is bad for kids?

      And youth baseball ruins young arms?

      How did we ever manage to survive to adulthood?

      A sanctimonious member of the Professional Left since 1967.

      by slatsg on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:01:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Concussions are a serious (13+ / 0-)

        problem in football players, and it's not limited to the pros.

        If trees gave off WIFi signals, we would probably plant so many trees, we would save the planet. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.

        by skohayes on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:08:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Concussions can be a serious problem (0+ / 0-)

          ... if proper precautions are not taken.

          I played football in high school and college. I played in Pigs/Freaks games until was 40. I coached it for thirty years. I never encountered a problem with concussions.

          At the present I spend a lot of time on my bicycle. My chances of serious injury are greater than the players I coached.

          A sanctimonious member of the Professional Left since 1967.

          by slatsg on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:20:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Okay, you make a valid point. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          laurnj, Cassandra Waites, elfling, Woody

          I will not let my own son play football because of the serious nature of concussions and brain damage. The point OP is trying to make, and I wholeheartedly agree, is that these extra-curricular activities are being offered at schools. Kids don't understand why they cannot be involved in certain activities that their friends are part of. "Why daddy, cannot I not play soccer?"

          If an activity is being offered at a school, then parents should be able to decide, whether or not, to allow their child to participate irregardless of personal finances. That is the point. Being involved in extra-curricular activities has become necessary to have a greater opportunity to be accepted at the college of their choice. A free public education should mean being able to decide what extra-curricular activity your child can be involved in without worrying about how to pay for it. Not to mention all of the other fees that actually involve academics, like math and science clubs, graduation fees, and educational field trips (I have personally funded trips for children at my kid's school that could not afford to go on a trip because no child should be left behind at the school wondering why they were not able to go with the rest of the class).

        •  Concussions are a serious problem (0+ / 0-)

          In every sport. It is how they are treated that matters

          "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." -- Albert Einstein

          by lynn47 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:35:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Concussions are a problem in all sports (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dfsly, Mark E Andersen

          My niece has a daughter in a Dallas suburb and her Middle School soccer team had 2 players who had concussions serious enough to be held out of multiple matches. Field hockey and basketball rack up their shares of concussion incidents as well.

          Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

          by Egalitare on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:31:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You need your head more than your arm. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        susanala, wa ma

        Anyway, baseball only ruins arms for baseball itself--it doesn't ruin them for most other things in life.

        It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

        by Rich in PA on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:14:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And not all baseball ruins arms. (0+ / 0-)

          The guys whose elbows blow out when they are 18 or 19 usually are pitchers who were labelled early on as having "real potential." They aren't playing for just a few months during the usual high school season.

          They play school ball, little league, travel league, showcase league, and I'm probably forgetting something. They play baseball 11.5 months a year from middle school. Their only off-season is winter break (aka Christmas).

          At younger ages, they don't have a proper training regimen. It's all or nothing. Games + intense formal practices ... or no throwing at all. Tom House thinks a return to playing catch would help.

          Don't get me started on 12-year-olds throwing curveballs.

          Just because you're not a drummer doesn't mean that you don't have to keep time. -- T. Monk

          by susanala on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:10:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Agree. We need football. And music, art, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        And forensics.  The more we reach out to kids to connect the better off we are.  I know of a couple of teenagers who only exist at school because of football.  If it gets them in the door and they have to stay academically and sports code eligible.  Fantastic.  They bought in.  What are the rates for head injuries in H. S. Football?  You want to see injuries?  Check out girls basketball...blown acl's everywhere...

        I'm just wasting a great big Corporation and the entire fund. The girders of Wall Street And the temples of money. And the high priests Of the expense account. And Im wasting the whole thing. J. Strummer

        by bongojazz on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:22:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree, but not many feel as you and I do. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Woody, wa ma

      Football is a lot of money and injuries, for what? It's the American way!

         My son is 6' 4" and 260 pounds, but thank god never had any interest in the sport.

      the woman who is easily irritated

      by chicago minx on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:17:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did the coaches notice him??? (0+ / 0-)

        Did the coaches notice your son and try to recruit him?   My son was a speedy runner altho he didn't much LIKE to run---turned out he had severe knee issues that required surgeries---but the coaches would see him and come to me BEGGING me to let a 7 year old RUN TRACK.  Um----no!  

        Only AFTER he showed up for months with knee braces and then on crutches after two surgeries before he was 12 did they FINALLY let up.  Then they started in on him for baseball which he DID like and played for JR HS and HS---travel team too;  now he is married to a professional softball coach and they BOTH privately coach and have Teams and make a surprising amount of money doing it!

        However other kids in the same district who were bigger or taller have been hounded for YEARS to play football.  And if you DARE to say NO----school lived and died for football but now census is too small for them to have their own team!  Karma.  

    •  The No. 1 cause … (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark E Andersen

      … of emergency room visits for adolescents are skateboard and bicycle accidents. While it is up to parents to decide if their sons will play football for any number of reasons, their excuses will be easier to swallow if those same parents first take away their children's bikes and skateboards. This is anecdotal evidence, of course, but I played football and wrestled in high school and junior college and never was diagnosed with a concussion. But I had three diagnosed concussions growing up, one from falling from a sycamore tree, one from getting hit in the head by a knotted rope and one from being smacked by a playground swing. My three kids, who have earned a combined 17 varsity athletic letters, have each had one concussion. They played football, rugby, wrestling, softball and volleyball. The oldest was concussed by being thrown from a horse and the youngest in a bicycle accident. Only my daughter was concussed in a high school game, hit in the head by a softball playing catcher. So that's six concussions, only one received in an organized sporting activity. I can understand worrying about the safety of your children. But they are less likely to get a concussion in a high school sports event than they are  just horsing around.

      Americans are in real trouble. The oligarchs are misanthropes.

      by Road to1 Escondido on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:07:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They NEVER---- (0+ / 0-)

        They NEVER seem to get hurt by the things WE think they will get hurt by!!!!    

        My kids played a variety of sports (altho not football)  and they managed to NOT get hurt doing that but my daughter broke BOTH ankles --one by WALKING and one by slipping down a wet flight of school, steps;  my son broke HIS ankle while trying to walk on the top  of an uneven curb stone at school;  my youngest broke his wrist on his first and last snowboarding run.  

        Add in stitches for all; broken arm (spiral fracture from a KID trying to convince MY kid that she really LIKED the cafeterias CHICKEN!!!)  Large wrist cyst from repetitive motion (partly from keyboarding) ; torn rotator cuff; finger dislocated so badly it needed to be rebuilt;  rabies shots, spinal fracture; ----not ONE of these was as a result of school sports.

        Not saying FB etc is NOT dangerous---they CAN be---and my grand father who was a HS and College foot ball STAR back in the 30's surely died younger than he should have because of some severe head injuries--playing in a LEATHER HELMET will DO that to a person--but---

        IT is NOT only school sports that our kids manage to find a way to get HURT doing.

  •  The points on education funding (13+ / 0-)

    ...and driver's ed are well taken.  And there should definitely be some funding for football for kids who need the money, but really...its hard to think of a less sympathetic extracurricular cost than HS football.  

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:46:00 PM PDT

  •  Back in the day we used to pay this thing called a (17+ / 0-)

    property tax.  We had great schools, state parks, and roads.  But now we have "low property taxes". We end up paying way more in "fees".   I guess people feel better about paying extra "fees", instead of this bad thing called a "tax".

    I could rant on more but I won't.  School starts Monday and I shouldn't be so snarky...

    I'm just wasting a great big Corporation and the entire fund. The girders of Wall Street And the temples of money. And the high priests Of the expense account. And Im wasting the whole thing. J. Strummer

    by bongojazz on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:49:13 PM PDT

    •  Meh. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave in Northridge, bongojazz

      This is all about the whiny people who don't want to pay property taxes when they don't have kids in school (either because they don't have kids, their kids are all grown-ups or their kids are in private schools.)  So low property taxes and higher fees is a way of shifting the costs to the people who actually have their kids in school.

      Whether this is a good thing or not is, of course, debatable.

      30, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

      by TDDVandy on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:24:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  since those kids are the ones who will be paying (4+ / 0-)

        into the Social Security and Medicare systems that cover the people without kids, I think property taxes are a reasonable way to pay for schools.
        If we want to live in a country that's comfortable for us and has decent services, we need a healthy, well-educated working population. And that means making sure children get the food, shelter, health care and education they need so they can grow into being those kind of workers.
        Supporting children, including other people's children, is a matter of enlightened self-interest.

        While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

        by Tamar on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:58:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Property values go up and down with public schools (4+ / 0-)

        Anyone who complains about the cost of their schools needs to understand that.

        America, where a rising tide lifts all boats! Unless you don't have a boat...uh...then it lifts all who can swim! Er, if you can't swim? SHAME ON YOU!

        by Back In Blue on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:59:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  whiny people? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cai, Clues, wa ma, flowerfarmer

        In Vermont, an elderly friend may have to leave her paid-for long time home because of property taxes increasing, even doubling, year after year.. to pay for education.  Costs are increasing rapidly due partly to unfunded mandates, very good ones in many ways,  such as special ed, and providing year around lunches (and transportation to get them) to poor kids. There's no other way to pay for schools, but more and more long time residents are having to sell or even just abandon their properties because of these skyrocketing property taxes. Property values are plunging as a result too, and properties are harder and harder to sell.  It's not that there are more kids, but that there are fewer year around residents to pay for their education.  VT's population is pretty low. What's to do?  Yeah, she's whiny...

        There are usually at least two sides to these dilemmas.

        "THERE IS NO JUSTICE. THERE IS JUST US." spoken by Death in Terry Pratchett's Discworld books.

        by Sailorben on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 08:32:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  New Hampshire has NO income or sales tax (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The entire burden of school funding comes on the backs of property owners.
          80% of collected property tax goes to school funding.

          Rapidly increasing property tax has robbed elders and family farmers of their properties here.

          My property tax went from $1100. to $6200. in 15 years and became 1/2 of my mortgage.

          There is some respite for farms but the discounts available for the elderly do not address the very urgent problem of the out of control school funding.

          My small town of 7k, with no commercial tax base, finally managed, after years of attempts, of passing a 45 million budget for a new high school.

          300 students.

          My two very elderly widow neighbors were forced, both at the age of mid 80's, to sell their homes or have the town place a tax lien on them.

          Well-rounded education, including art and music, is a benefit to our country as a whole but, when the entire system is so broken that elders on fixed incomes are tossed out of their homes in order to fund the schools, we need to rethink the structure of funding.

          'How like fish we are: ready, nay, eager, to seize upon whatever new thing.......And how we rue our haste, finding the gilded morsel to contain a hook". ALDO LEOPOLD - A Sand County Almanac.............................. UID: 111992 Joined: Nov 17, 2006

          by flowerfarmer on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:57:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And sadly--- (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The people who are most likely to BUY those houses are NOT going to live in NH full time and won't HAVE that stake in the school system you DO.

            We have the SAME issue here in Upstate NY (and in next door VT also)---"City People aka Flatlanders"  come in and buy those oh so cute farm houses and fix 'em up and stay here on weekends or maybe a few weeks in summer.  And they fight like MAD to get THEIR tax assessment DOWN.    If they DO live here full time they send their kids to Boarding School or one of the few private schools (Burr and Burton or Long Trail)  They don't have a dog in the fight so they cannot SEE how this affects the schools OR those sweet little old ladies they bought the house from.  

            Altho I happened to be talking to a business owner when I was in Laconia for Bike Week and his property taxes for a similar sized piece of land and a similar house were just about the SAME as mine.  And his was city land;  mine is very rural.  

            That said--we are looking to MOVE much farther South because we CAN'T afford to pay out 10% of our after tax income year after year --and this can ONLY go up property tax "cap"  or not---and we will NOT be able to scrape this together after retirement.  

            One reason we left New Jersey at the START of our working lives--we could NOT afford the taxes.  How ANYONE who is working class CAN afford to live there boggles my mind.  So we have been "chased"  at both ends of our lives.  

            And I am NOT one of those "Whiny"  people who "Don't have kids in school"  etc--I sent my kids to school and now my grand kids go to the SAME school and we are fighting the SAME fights for decent pay for teachers;  decent Special Ed; classroom supplies--

          •  45 million for 300 students??? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            That must be some high school! Let's say it would last for 50 years without major repairs (and that is hopeful). At 300 students per year, that would be 15,000 student years. That would be a cost of 45,000 per student year. For 4 years of high school, that would be 180,000 per student in capital costs alone. That does seem pretty high!

  •  a few more costs (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, Cassandra Waites, ER Doc, Woody

    prince george county: $15 pta membership, and 67 to be fingerprinted so I can go on field trips and volunteer

    When I lived in cT my daughter did fencing and my son tried out for ski team. My kids also went on school trips including 10 days to France, and took cello and violin. The principal's fund helped the less affluent do some of these "extras". And yes this was public school.

    i suggest you price pistal grips and racing skis.

    support Thomas Lofgren, progressive candidate for Minnesota house of reps district 20A

    by mollyd on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:50:31 PM PDT

    •  A public HS sending kids to France (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is hardly common, except possibly in Connecticut.  And ski team and fencing team aren't really common either.  But more importantly, how about we stop trying to one-up one another and agree that it's unfair to ask parents to pay for items like participation in athletic teams (that don't require crazy expensive equipment and extra liability insurance), clubs and social activities.

      Banana Republic: it's not just a clothing store.

      by northbronx on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:18:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When I participated in extracurricular activities (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, chicago minx, cai, wa ma

    back in the early 90s... I paid for my own uniform.  We also had bake sales and car washes and other fundraisers to help.

    It also cost to go to training camps.  I only went once because it was expensive, a lot more than $75.

    Paid yearbook costs too.  Booster club fees.  Game passes.

    No gatorade fee, but we bought our own refreshments anyway.

    Had to pay cost of physical exam because we didn't have insurance.

    None of this seems new.

    Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you ~ C.G. Jung

    by JClarkPDX on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:51:04 PM PDT

    •  A lot of our activities were funded by (0+ / 0-)

      fundraising done by students and/or parents -- bake sales, selling ad space, selling gear with logos on, charging admission for games and performances.

      The coaches and club advisors were all teachers.  Maybe they got bonuses for coaching too, I don't know.

      Point is, there was a middle ground between "it should all be funded by taxpayers" and "it should all be funded by individual students' parents."  

      The students/players (and some but not all parents) put in extra work to get to do their activity, and nobody was excluded due to lack of resources.

      When budgets are being cut such that parents have to send in toilet paper and tissues, or kids have to pay to graduate, I don't so much have sympathy with the idea that one shouldn't have to pay to attend events or get a yearbook.  That's always been the case.

      © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:02:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The school supplies here are nuts (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Flying Goat, Cassandra Waites, wa ma

    They order up all kinds of office supplies and what not figuring I guess that those that supply it will make up the slack for those who don't. It's so much though. I hate to be an old fuddy duddy but what more do you need besides paper and pens, maybe some pencils. And why turn it all in to the teachers?

    At the charter schools it was like bribery. Parents were encouraged to donate directly to teachers. Some just gave them credit cards with a set amount deposited, like a gift card but for a grand.

    No gifts should ever be accepted by teachers unless they can be give anonymously and given to the entire staff.

    I don't know what poor people do.

    I can see buying your own pencils and paper, but that's it. Public education should be for the public.

    That said everyone in 6th grade is getting a mini ipad this year.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:52:53 PM PDT

  •  I can't agree (5+ / 0-)

    Fees for sport participation is not a tax payer concern. The cost of educating a child is a concern; text books, highly qualified teachers, limited class size, the education of the populace, that is what my tax money should go to.

    UID 100224 "I got a rock"-Charlie Brown

    by eashep on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:55:28 PM PDT

  •  Why football? (15+ / 0-)

    Football is an expensive, dangerous, and boys-only sport. Yet high schools and (most) colleges feel compelled to offer it, as if it were the marker for "true-blue American" instead of just a game. And boys and parents will apparently come up with unlimited amounts of money to play it. I don't get it.

    Students who want to swim, by contrast, generally have to join the Y or a swim club. Same for dancers, musicians, and many other pasttimes.

    So while I'm sympathetic on schools nickel and diming on textbooks and charging for markers and paper, I find it hard to get outraged about football players having to fork over money that's still a lot less than any music student pays out for instruments (and reeds, strings, whatever) and lessons.

    •  Rather typical response. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mollyd, TDDVandy, Cassandra Waites, dfsly


      Those are activities in which my child does not participate.

      A sanctimonious member of the Professional Left since 1967.

      by slatsg on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:11:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Since the percent (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Debby, Shaylors Provence, wa ma

        Of the number of students participating in football is very small compared to the student population, I don't get your point. All students are impacted by dollars spent on math and English education etc. So football are frills.

        UID 100224 "I got a rock"-Charlie Brown

        by eashep on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:05:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I guess ... if you say so. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I am happy that my son had an opportunity to have access to those frills ...  art, band, tack, crossed country, drama.

          Of course those things don't matter so much now. If they don't lead to employment opportunities, they are not valid.

          A sanctimonious member of the Professional Left since 1967.

          by slatsg on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:20:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  That wasn't remotely what was said. (5+ / 0-)

        Rugbymom laid out in great detail why she thought football was a frill and "my child does not participate" was not in there.  

        If you disagree with her you're free to argue against her points....but sarcastically putting words in her mouth that she never said (or even implied) is not only bush-league's pretty nasty behaviour.

        •  I stand by my comment. (3+ / 0-)

          In my 40+ years of education whenever cuts were considered it was always a case of whose ox was being gored.

          If my kid was not in band or interested in the arts, then those are frills.

          If my boy is not interested in football, then that's a frill.

          I coached football, track, basketball, wrestling, and baseball. I directed plays and musicals. I coached the math team. I took kids on class trips to a variety of different venues. Frills? Only if your kid is not involved.

          Have a young man or women hug you on graduation day and credit your coaching with being the reason they stayed in school, and then tell me that it is a frill.

          You don't like football. Fine. But isn't really about football ... or track or jazz band or the musicals. It's about the kids.

          A sanctimonious member of the Professional Left since 1967.

          by slatsg on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:33:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Lots of people think gifted programs and (4+ / 0-)

            AP classes are frills.

            If the school has decided to offer it, it's part of the educational program and should be available to all.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:55:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The schools DON't just randomly--- (0+ / 0-)

              Schools don't just randomly decide to "offer" something.  There must be a demand for it.  A school in Kansas is highly unlikely to have a Ski Club whereas here in the East most schools have at least a bus to the ski places a few times a winter.  

              No school has the time or staff to just decide to offer any random activity.  

              And certain things that are for FEW participants--like football---are perhaps questionable as to WHO should PAY to play.

              Do we want kids left out if they can;t pay?  No?  then ways have to be found TO pay for it.  

              And where ARE the school funded activities for GIRLS?????

              Singular LACK of comments on this here---hmmmmm----

              •  Well, they need two things (0+ / 0-)

                Demand, and someone interested and qualified in teaching it. Sometimes one leads, sometimes the other.

                Title 9 is a federal statute that requires equal opportunities for girls. If your school is in violation, there are ways to complain and rectify.

                Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                by elfling on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 07:00:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  But You Weren't Replying To 40+ Years of Stuff... (0+ / 0-)

   were replying to a single poster here who took the time to lay out her argument only to have you insult her by putting your thoughts into her mouth.

          •  It seems that there is an increasing body of (0+ / 0-)

            scientific evidence to support that football causes brain damage in some individuals. It may be just a matter of time before it is eliminated at a lot of schools. The schools won't have to take the lead in ending the programs, it will just be that interest in football will wane and many schools will have a hard time finding enough players due to many parents not encouraging or allowing their sons to play.

            •  If that happens then that is fine. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wa ma

              I coached football for 30 years. My son never played. He wasn't interested. I didn't attempt to influence him one way or the other. It was his choice.

              A sanctimonious member of the Professional Left since 1967.

              by slatsg on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 05:45:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I chose not to have any children. (5+ / 0-)

    I pay property taxes for schools, and other children's education...with no bitching and moaning on my part. No one has ever thanked me for my contribution to society.

    You have a tough sell with me.

    I cast a shadow, therefore, I am. You stand on my shadow, therefore, you are.

    by glb3 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:55:51 PM PDT

    •  Those children will be the ones supporting you (4+ / 0-)

      in your old age with their tax revenues, and providing services you need.

    •  We all benefit from an educated population (9+ / 0-)

      If you live in a district with a good school system, your property values benefit, whether you have kids or not.

      the woman who is easily irritated

      by chicago minx on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:29:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you. I wish that more folks were clearer on (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cosette, jbsoul, karma5230, kayak58, dfsly

      the intergenerational compact that really used to exist, and what it takes to keep it intact.

    •  When the low income kids cannot (6+ / 0-)

      do drama, cannot play sports, cannot go on field trips... cannot take lab science (!!!) - that is another brick in the wall that keeps them from being upwardly mobile, from getting into the college that they might be well ready for, from having the career that they're intellectually capable of and suited for, and perhaps keeps them from growing into their full potential as a taxpayer.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:18:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That really IS the point--- (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Or I should say--it WAS the point (or one OF them)  when the property tax funded school systems were disabled.  

        If these uppity kids can't GET a decent education then you have a LOT to show for ===no outlay.  This is a weird power game---kids can't ever break out of low income districts--it is a ghetto mentality in the broad sense of the term.    If "they"  never get an education good enough to LEAVE their poor districts then "We"  don't have to worry about letting them in to our country clubs and elite schools (except for a token few)  and yacht clubs and board rooms---and filling "Our"  kids seats in college.

        It keeps "them" in their "place"..  

        I once went to a School Board meeting where the Supt made a comment about trying to KEEP OUT people who might need FREE LUNCH--as "WE"  didn't want that "Kind"  of students in the school.  Please note---this had NOTHING to do with the color of these kids;  we live in an extremely pale skinned area so this is STRICTLY income related.  What it DID have to do with was looking POOR in an extremely rural area where sadly POOR is the norm! But I gather that the Free Lunch percentage is not a "Good Look"  on the districts books.

        I managed to keep my hands off the smarmy little guys throat long enough to say--Gee most of the FARMERS whose taxes pay YOUR inflated salary QUALIFY for Free Lunch--and they GROW  that food!

        They also tried to DENY any kids from our school the right to go to a BOCES (VoTec)  program because that too apparently made us look "Low class"--I pointed out that the kids that go to BOCES are the ones who  tend to STAY in the community---the guy that fixes your car;  the woman who cuts your hair;  the nurse and the guy who builds your house and the one who cooks at the restaurant down the street.

        My kid?  Well he's an engineer and lives no where NEAR here!  And he will NEVER be back to live.  That's not a bad thing but---

        The kids who DID go to BOCES would-- in some cases --have dropped out or worse.  But with some training and encouragement they are productive and tax paying AND living where they want to not where they are forced to--and a surprising number of them choose to live right here.  And they have JOBS.  Often they own their own business.  

        But that was not high class enough for the guy running this rural school!

        PS we got rid of him

    •  you were a child...did you thank the community? (0+ / 0-)

      come on, man.

  •  You have to pay for the school bus too (8+ / 0-)

    I had to pay to have my daughter ride the school bus $130 per quarter.

    I do think the patriotic thing to do is to critique my country. How else do you make a country better but by pointing out its flaws? Bill Maher

    by gtghawaii on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:57:16 PM PDT

    •  My ex-wife and I... (0+ / 0-)

      ...are opting to take him to and pick him from school. We cannot afford an extra $150 a semester. We will have to adjust our work schedules and it will be a hassle - but it will save us a ton of money.

      "Republicans only care about the rich" - George W. Andersen - my late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

      by Mark E Andersen on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:24:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Will it? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DLWinMI, OrganicChemist, gtghawaii

        You might do the math for how much the gas costs to drive that distance.

        $300 for 180 days is $1.67 a day.

        So I'll just estimate gas/expenses at $4/gallon and your MPG at 25 as an example... your break even is at about 10 miles... two round trips of 2.5 miles each. If you're driving any further than that, you're losing money even before counting your time and hassle.

        IRS would let you deduct 56 cents a mile for business travel, so at that rate you'd have to live even closer, probably close enough for him to walk.

        You still have to do what's right for you and I think it's horrible for a school to charge for the school bus, but it's good to do the math before you decide how you'll react.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:51:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are correct. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It makes more sense to just pay the amount because the fuel cost and inconvenience of not doing so.  I however do wander about families that can't afford the cost.  From what I understood there was no federal assistance.

          I do think the patriotic thing to do is to critique my country. How else do you make a country better but by pointing out its flaws? Bill Maher

          by gtghawaii on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:56:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In California, (0+ / 0-)

            I believe that they cannot charge you if you are eligible for free or reduced price lunch. Or it could be that the amount is steeply discounted.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 06:50:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Luckily... (0+ / 0-)

 is on my our way to and from work. We both have to drive past the school.

          "Republicans only care about the rich" - George W. Andersen - my late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

          by Mark E Andersen on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 02:45:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  some high schools even broadcast their football (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    laurnj, Woody

    games on republican radio stations!

    the badgers may still broadcast on 2 limbaugh stations and probably a few other rw stations.

    here in new mexico the NM lobos/limbaugh station managed to tar and feather the school super for ABQ schools, a career public schools employee and supporter who was fighting the asshole republican gov martinez and hanna skandera, a think tank schill, who are trying to privatize here.

    all the guy did was send out some childish tweets referring to skandera in terms of barnyard noises, and the gov got the local blowhards to start the swiftboating. the guy might have had some personal problems too, but all say he was competent in his job, and the only reason he was forced out was because they had that radio station to blast the community with.

    now they're screaming that he got the confidential severance package of $350,000 THEY caused!

    the biggest pusher of privatizing education the last 25 years is republican radio, and our universities are renting their community cred to them for a few bucks.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:57:35 PM PDT

    •  My neighbor owns a radio station... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      in a somewhat nearby large urban area. As a community service, he carries some of the local team football competitions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. He sends his people out to assist with the productions and everything. I'm sure he loses big bucks in doing this, but he says the kids just love that their names get announced on the radio when they make a play.

      He also carries various very conservative syndicate programs at night. He used to have some liberal ones, also, but absolutely NO ONE listened. He said that's why Air America and other liberal radio enterprises always go belly up whenever they try - no one will listen and advertisers will not pay for them. They are even more reluctant to pay with the Flush Rush campaign going on.

      Anyways, I'm always very thankful of his community service efforts in doing that. It has nothing to do with what other commentators he runs. He told me he would gladly put on wall-to-wall libs, but no one would listen. Apparently the right likes it's radio. I guess the left must go for TV or publications or the Internet.

      •  hard to believe 95% of people who would listen (0+ / 0-)

        to talk radio while working or driving would prefer the wit and wisdom of limbaugh and hannity.

        that's not real but it's the assumption aggressively made by republicans and teabaggers. in some places i can see where the loons outnumber the liberals but in blue areas with lots of con stations and sports stations duplicating each other its a matter of monopoly dominance.

        there are liberal stations that do well in blue and moderate areas all over the country. liberal radio has been actively sabotaged (air america) and up against an entrenched and very valuable propaganda asset.

        many liberals who prefer music and TV make the mistake of assuming the rw radio monopoly exists to satisfy market demand but they're basicallly using advertising to pay the rent and make a little profit while the real purpose is to sell war, deregulation, tax breaks, global warming denial, supremes, swiftboating, etc.

        there are liberal hosts who beat the cons on an even playing field.

        your friend knows that his existing con audience would be pissed off if if he suddenly got rid of his cons and put on liberals, but what is he really selling to his community?  that audience is the republican base and the secondary more passive audience, built on years of unchallenged repetition of an alternate reality, and it's stable.

        it's possible your friend is moderate but believes a some of that same alternate reality, and in his industry one established lie is that 95% of american talk radio listeners prefer RW radio.

        does he really feel good about selling global warming denial and hate?

        yeah liberal talk radio fails, but on an even playing field not totally dominated by much larger radio stations that are part of a well established monopoly that aggressively protects itself, they compete and sometimes win.

        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

        by certainot on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 06:35:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Up until about 5 years ago, (0+ / 0-)

          he had quite a few liberal programs at night. Nobody listened to them and it was extremely hard for him to raise ad revenue for them. He gradually began to replace them with other shows including several conservative syndicated talk shows. They did much better for him.

          I don't know what lies there might be out there about who listens to talk radio. For him,however, Arbitron doesn't lie - he lives and dies by that and reacts accordingly.

  •  It's far worse in Japan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Woody

    Their "free public education" includes expenses like school uniforms ($200-$400 each, and there are usually three or four of them- summer dress, winter dress, summer athletic and winter athletic). Yearbooks are about $150. There are also class and materials fees, plus fees for school lunch (there is no brown bagging in Japan- everyone eats the same thing). None of this is optional, either... social pressure makes all of it mandatory. Of course, Japan has advantages, like single-payer health care and a fairly small income gap between poor and rich, that balance this out.

    Odds and ends about life in Japan:

    by Hatrax on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:58:34 PM PDT

  •  wow after 30 years season passes (0+ / 0-)

    are still the same price

  •  I listen to the guy next door whine about (7+ / 0-)

    our tax rate and try to explain that there is a link to education and the need for a social  safety net. He won't listen. All the while he has his net of Medicare and Soc. Sec.

  •  Does the constitution offer football too? (5+ / 0-)

    Honestly, living in a district (outside of Seattle that was charging $325 per sport/per student last year, I feel your pain....BUT...have much less sympathy for anything to do with football. It serves a very small number of students and is subsidized massively by all the fees kids in other sports are playing...which in turn don't get any investment because they lack the star-crossed power of football.  My son running track gets to wear an ancient uniform, they pay a few teachers a stipend to coach and then pay for the cost of chartering buses to 5-6 meets a year...all for the same fees the football teams pay, which has room for less than 50 kids while track takes on 150. 150 x $325 = almost $50,000 - very little of which track will ever see.  So yes, football is expensive, but people who don't give a damn about it are paying quite a bit for it too!

    The main point of your article is a good can make it without talking about football though.

  •  "Fees" are the new "taxes", except now it divides (13+ / 0-)

    the haves from the have nots in public education.

    Both my brother and I attended a public magnet school for the performing and visual arts in Texas. It was a public school. (There was no gym, by the way, and no sports, and we got out of that by taking a yearly "fitness" exam which was really a joke.) Before I had my license, my parents DID have to drive me to nearby public school where the bus for the magnet schools would round us up. I don't believe there was any extra fee for this.

    Amazing school (much later than I did, Beyonce Knowles attended this school, by the way, and even studied with a few of the same teachers that had taught us many years before) and is was PUBLIC. Now, you had to audition and had to pass your jury exams and not fail out of academics which were fairly rigorous. But I don't remember my parents having to pay any extra fees for us to attend or for extra-curricular activities. We did do some tours which we financed with the legendary "Spaghetti Suppers" and some money from the District. But it was tax-supported public school all the way.

    I'll bet Texas is a lot different today than it was in the early 80's. IN fact I know it is: I taught in that district in the late 90's and early 2000's.

    The only reason to defund public education by switching fees for taxes is to create deep inequality.

    "To take another person's life from the bench is no better than to take another person's life from the street"

    by commonmass on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:10:31 PM PDT

    •  Fees are the cowardly local official's way of (8+ / 0-)

      lowering the tax base for industry and passing it directly onto the consumer, the parent.

      I have no problem paying higher property taxes for better education, better policing, better roads, but what I seem to see is that businesses get better tax breaks.

      We will never be free from fear as long as we fear the NRA.

      by captainlaser on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:33:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  IT's ghettoizing our schools (0+ / 0-)

        It is ghettoizing our schools (look up the TRUE meaning of the word before you choke on froth)  and this IS the intent of a large part of the ravening "PRIVATIZE SCHOOLS"  crowd.

        By forcing poor districts to REMAIN poor the kids from there will not be able to "compete"  and take away seats meant for the kids of the better off classes.  

        The real rich will always send their kids to private schools.  The wealthier parents will move into districts where their kids will be with others of their "Own Kind"  and they can all go to private colleges together.  See places like WILLIAMS for truely shocking tuition costs.  

        Middle class parents will do whatever they can to scrape and get by to get their kids into the best college they can afford.  After all---they can pay back those student loans by the time they are ready to hit the retirement home now--can't they???  

        The poor?   Well unless the kid is gifted in sports or academics--and how might you KNOW this!!!????----will be left farther and farther behind because after all who ELSE is going to do those "jobs"?  

        Oh wait---did I hear something about---immigrants???

        When it takes a BA to get a job at MCDONALDS---we have a problem

  •  Wait till they have driver's ed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jilly W

    if you want to see your fees shoot up.

      But I can't complain about our district too much.  My kids are getting a good education and I work in the district, so...

    the woman who is easily irritated

    by chicago minx on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:12:00 PM PDT

  •  Who pays insurance for the football. Ages (5+ / 0-)

    ago, when I was in H.S., Yearbooks, event tickets, and the like cost money. Kids participating in sports had to get their own insurance and buy their own equipment with certain limited exceptions.

    And no, you don't have to play football to get into college.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:22:17 PM PDT

  •  as the old bumper stickers used to say: (6+ / 0-)

    "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance."

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:26:51 PM PDT

  •  Slippery Slope this is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    laurnj, Flying Goat, wa ma

    My friend has t o spend $10,000 a year for his daughter to be on the Cheer team.

    I was an athlete in High School and I love sports but these days it is getting to be a tough call as to were to draw the line with what we pay for in the way of sports. I think we should definitely provide sports and music, but personal trainers? Like I said, where do we say no at?

    I would say the sports fees are on the cheap side for football. I am paying a $1,500 a year fee for my Daughter to play soccer, and that is just the beginning of the costs. This is outside of the school though.

    Until we get the right folks representing us at every level this type of discussion will continue.

    "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." -- Albert Einstein

    by lynn47 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:27:25 PM PDT

    •  $10k/year for the cheer team is just insane... (0+ / 0-)

      depending on the size of the team, that's enough for at least one full time teacher.

      •  I would have to assume... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Flying Goat, IamGumby

        that a lot of those expenses are for off-season club team participation. If the team is good, they might also attend national comps, too. Cheer teams are kinda odd ducks. While my daughter was a gymnast, she was also on a cheer team in middle school. The sport fee was the usual $200, but if they were invited to out-of-state competitions, it got to be pretty expensive. When she  moved over to diving, it was still the $200 sports fee to the school system, but she was also a member of a diving club and those practice, meet and travel fees were well over $8000 a year.
        It was similar to when she was a gymnast - she was on both the high school team and a club team. You pretty much have to be in gymnastics, cheer and diving if you want to be any good.

        It all ended well, however. She got a big athletic scholarship at one of our country's top schools that I really wasn't sure if she had the credentials for. The diving pulled her through. I'm also probably one of the few parents in the US that might have overfunded their kid's 529 plan...

        •  This is so important to point out. Your story (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          illustrates how the poor kids are at such a disadvantage whether the school covers all the costs of school athletics or not.

          •  Absolutely. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            IamGumby, wa ma

            The true skill sports like tennis, golf, gymnastics, diving, skiing and many others are outrageously expensive to become and remain competitive. In many cases that is why it has been difficult for African Americans to make a breakthrough in these individual sports. The expenses are crushing - especially to become world class.

            •  Of course, the question must be asked... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              ...whether assisting in the development of "world class" athletes is a legitimate aspect of the public school mission.

              I would suggest that it is not.

              Of course, I'm something of a heretic on the question of school athletics. Were I to be named athletic director, I'd hold a meeting of all athletes and say:

              Here's the deal: You can participate in one sport each school year IF you maintain the 2.5 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) necessary for eligibility. If you want to participate in two sports during teh school year, you MUST maintain a GPA of at least 2.75. If you want to participate in more than two sports during the school year, you MUST maintain a GPA of at least 3.0. As always, we check your grades weekly; if your GPA falls below the eligibility level, you're suspended from the team that week, and you'll spend practice time with tutors we provide. If you are academically suspended for four consecutive weeks, you're off the team.
              This would eliminate a significant portion of those "multisport athletes" who seem to exist in every high school, and open spots for other students to experience interscholastic sports, and prioritizes/rewards academic peformance to boot.

              Local parents would probably burn me in effigy the day after the announcement of that rule. **laugh**

              The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

              by wesmorgan1 on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 11:06:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Outstanding Approach (0+ / 0-)

                I think if schools consistently followed the approach you suggest (instead of the ad hoc exemptions from academic progress requirements that are common in too many schools), school athletic programs would be considerably more popular among those whose kids don't necessarily participate.

                And, HAH! You'd probably be lucky if it was only in effigy. :) Now, I believe that parent input and support is essential to to a school's success. But I also believe that consistent application of all academic policies, even in the face of strong parental pressure to "make an exception," is every bit as essential.

                "Fortunately, our handsomest politicians came up with a cheap, last-minute way to combat global warming. We simply drop a giant ice cube into the ocean every now and then. Thus solving the problem once and for all." -- Futurama

                by IamGumby on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 11:25:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  But--- (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              These sports are outrageously expensive OUTSIDE of the school setting!

              And you CHOOSE to send your kid to them--

              To do a travel post-HS soft ball team is $1200 PER YEAR----and there are other expenses that are NOT factored into that.  Add in $50 an hour for private coaching lessons---

              What does it cost  for an hours tennis coaching?  Golf?  

              IT just cost $15 for our little grand daughter to be walked on a pony three times up and down a 200 foot path---when I rode that would have covered an hours ring or trail time!

              But I do agree---these costs keep MANY people esp lower income away from ever experiencing them.  

              I heard an interview--think it was a WAIT WAIT episode=-=with Jackie Joyner Kersee on how she learned to run and jump----very inspiring.  But sad too.  

  •  This is a really strange argument. (4+ / 0-)

    From that list of fees you've provided, it sounds like taxpayers are footing the bill for most aspects of public education but that extracurricular activities are paid for by the people actually participating in those activities.

    There are plenty here who would argue that taxpayers should not be funding high school football.

    30, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:28:01 PM PDT

  •  Don't forget the fundraisers! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This grandma is constantly getting hit up for Jump Rope for Heart, Marathon for MD, Fun Run for Children's Miracle Network, etc. etc. etc. Seems like every two weeks I get another email from my grandkids asking for "support". LOL

    I don't know if Ghandi actually said "I love your Christ, but I don't like your Christians", but I'm gonna keep attributing it to him. If he didn't actually say it, he was probably thinking it.

    by pearlsarefuzzy on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:28:31 PM PDT

  •  You forgot the high stakes standardized tests... (8+ / 0-)

    ...Wisconsin taxpayers paid about 25 million for those tests last year.

    Let's not talk about the ancillary products, scripted digitized curriculum or test prep curriculum packets many school districts force teachers to use on children.

    The real reason costs are going up is because public ed is being defunded by policies created by Dems and Repubs alike.

    Then in Wisconsin, you have Scott Walker.

    Educational experience based on non-consensual behaviorism is authoritarian mind control.

    by semioticjim on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:29:05 PM PDT

  •  Wow the nastiness that this post brought out (13+ / 0-)

    Why are we treating high school sports like something bad, that students shouldn't participate in unless they're from rich families that can afford to pay 100% of the cost of equipment?  Is it so bad that kids are getting some exercise, having fun and learning teamwork?  From the comments, I feel like a lot of people here would rather the little rugrats shut up, learn their place, and get to work in the factories at 16, rather than oh, I don't know, BE CHILDREN.  

    I was in high school in the late 1980s in a relatively poor district and I don't remember any fees for sports participation.  I do remember buying my own swim cap, goggles and practice suit, but my team swimsuit was paid for by the school.  Other team uniforms were also paid for, except for footwear I think.  (Not that soccer or football cleats are cheap; there may have been a scholarship fund for such things.)  Our band uniforms were paid for, and the school had a fair selection of instruments that students would use; if you played something exotic you had to rent it, but mostly the instruments were provided.  We did have to buy yearbooks.  Local field trips were paid for, but if we stayed overnight somewhere, that was on the parents.

    Banana Republic: it's not just a clothing store.

    by northbronx on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:34:25 PM PDT

    •  All great points to be sure (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wednesday Bizzare, wa ma

      I think part of the problem is how sports can be over done at times.

      This is probably an outlier, but as I said in an earlier comment, where do sports stop and extravagance begin?

      "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." -- Albert Einstein

      by lynn47 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:43:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am shocked... (6+ / 0-) the vitriol directed at me for allowing my son to play a sport he loves.

      "Republicans only care about the rich" - George W. Andersen - my late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

      by Mark E Andersen on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:12:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No one is saying anything about letting him play (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shaylors Provence, wa ma

        Some are saying it shouldn't be FREE. Few play the game, no girls ARE ALLOWED to play, it's a sexist culture leading to the highest incidence of domestic violence in the USA on a given day EVERY Super Bowl Sunday, it crushes young brains and many don't want to pay for it.

        But I'm not judging you letting him play. I'm not questioning your judgement there. Just your judgement in comparing it to textbook fees. They ain't the same bro.

        •  Uhm - girls are allowed to play... (6+ / 0-)

          ...I know, I coached them.

          Also, 30 years ago, there was no fee. Today there is. Why has that happened? Because the tax burden has been shifted from corporations and the wealthy to the middle and lower class.

          You have completely missed that point because of your hatred of football. Thank you for buying into the right-wing argument. You have fallen for it, hook, line, and sinker.

          "Republicans only care about the rich" - George W. Andersen - my late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

          by Mark E Andersen on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:36:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  So should girls have to pay a fee (4+ / 0-)

          to play volleyball or run track? It's the same question.

          However you treat one sport, you have to treat them all. The only option is to offer or not offer a particular sport.

          There's also a federal obligation via Title 9 that you have to provide the same sporting opportunities for girls as for boys. This is in both dollars and slots. So if they're spending big on the football team, the girls actually do benefit also because funding has to be found to match it.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:00:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  If you're shocked that many find football brutal (0+ / 0-)

        And stupid you're not paying attention.

        •  No... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...I am shocked at people who choose to fling poo because they personally dislike a sport. What if he were in band, the fees are similar. Would that be okay?

          "Republicans only care about the rich" - George W. Andersen - my late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

          by Mark E Andersen on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:38:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No--- (0+ / 0-)

            No one thinks that there is an evil divide between "Band"  and "Football"--but some do think that football has had it's day and it has led to a huge cult following of a relative few over size men who consistently are in the news for violent acts against their spouses and other female companions.  

            Is it the hits on the head that promote this behavior?  I dunno.  

            I come from a very sports oriented extended family--two Olympic medalists;  two NBA players;  one Womens NBA player and my grand father was a football legend back in the leather helmet days.  I have a trunk full of his clippings and photos.  

            All my kids played sports of one kind or another.

            I am certainly not anti-sports.

            BUT---I have yet to see anything approaching the bizarre cult status of the HS Football Player.  And even tho there is a Title IX where ARE the comps for GIRLS????  And yes SOME schools might grudgingly allow  girls to play some form of football--flag maybe???--at some low level.  There is NEVER any promotion for it and it is made out as a sop for those who insist on parity.  Field hockey?  Well---we have a killer field hockey team here but this is because ot the enthusiasm of ONE teacher who happened to go to school here got an education and came back--and when she retires I bet field hockey is gone.  

            The issue is that there are a very small number of kids who CAN be on that football team regardless of the size of the school.  And they by and large can get away with anything.  

            So where do you draw the funding line?   IF only the kids who CAN afford it can play--this is not right it's not fair and it's discriminatory.  

            The answer might be to remove the sports that can only BE played by a few talented kids OUT OF THE SCHOOLYARD entirely.  

            After all--if the kids that ARE paying to play are using the schools fields etc---maybe they can use some of that "Gate" money as field rent.  

            Sports--like other school activities--should be open and accessible to ALL.  If that means that the 11 or so kids who WANT top play football have to find their OWN coach etc---well---maybe this is a new model.  

    •  Sports are NOT bad (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      flowerfarmer, PugetSound, wa ma

      That is not the point. Sports ARE optional, not every student is required nor expected to participate. Requiring limited tax payer dollars to go to funding sports limits the budget that goes to services for the majority of students.

      UID 100224 "I got a rock"-Charlie Brown

      by eashep on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:14:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not every kid is required or expected to take (5+ / 0-)

        AP Biology either, and yet I think we all agree that there shouldn't be a $100 fee to take that class.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:21:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  as far as I know there is not (0+ / 0-)

          A fee to take the class. There is a fee to take the AP test, which is administered by the college board.

          UID 100224 "I got a rock"-Charlie Brown

          by eashep on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:42:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Schools have in fact tried to charge fees (4+ / 0-)

            for laboratory science, languages, and other academics. Not just the AP exam fee, but for materials required to enroll at all. ACLU just settled a suit about such practices in the state of California, where it is against the law.

            Note Mark cites a lab fee for science and a textbook fee.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:02:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Some cites for you (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Glen The Plumber


            The lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, followed an investigation by the ACLU/SC that uncovered a widespread practice among school districts of forcing students to purchase textbooks, workbooks, and assigned novels in order to matriculate in academic courses. School districts also charged lab fees for participation in science classes. The suit alleged that this discriminating practice against lower-income children creates an unfair system where only the wealthy are able to afford an education that is constitutionally supposed to be free to all regardless of economic status.
            With few exceptions, (California) state law now prohibits schools from charging fees for classroom items and activities and from requiring students to bring materials needed for school. It covers everything from 25-cent pencils and $5 binders to $350 field trips and $500 football uniforms.
            News of the fee ban hasn't reached all schools. This school year the Palo Alto High math department continued to insist Texas Instruments-89 graphing calculators were mandatory for an honors math analysis class; likewise nearby Jordan Middle School put out a list of nearly two dozen items required for sixth-graders.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:08:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I think most people, possibly with the exception (0+ / 0-)

      of football, have no problem with kids playing high school sports. I think most also would have no problem with kids getting need-based scholarships to play. Our district covers or discounts fees based on a child qualifying for free or reduced lunch.

      A lot of people just think the cost of extracurricular activities should be covered by the participants when possible. Public schools are not funded as well as they should be and the needs of some students are not being met during the school day. When the participants of extracurricular activities don't pay their own way, the money has to come from somewhere. It is unfair to expect the non-participants to subsidize the participation of students who can afford to fund their own participation.

      •  Did you know---- (0+ / 0-)

        Almost forgot---

        Did you know that if your kids gets free lunch than the cost of applying to colleges is WAIVED???  I think there might also be a waiver for SAT fees and the cost of sending the results to your school choices---it's been a few years tho so check this --I could be out of date.  

        Check with your guidance dept on this as it might have changed in the past few years but we took advantage of it--I think this is "good"  for a certain number of application fees.  I think that the guidance dept has to sign off on this for you but ASK.

        I know our guidance dept did NOT like to hear this---I think they get "kickbacks"  on application fees!--but you are entitled so USE IT.  

        Ever notice how large numbers of kids from one HS or one small area have so MANY kids going to ONE particular odd school?   Ever wonder WHO is steering these diverse kids to that ONE school????   We had that here and it was guidance pushing these kids towards one school even tho most of them were not really suited to it!  

    •  I don't think they're bad, per se. (0+ / 0-)

      I just think the only legitimate place for them is in backyards, parks and vacant lots, organized by the kids themselves and played purely for the fun of it.  Without an interfering adult in sight to try to vicariously live through their children, inflate their egos beyond all reason, hound them to some arbitrary standard of success, or make a buck off of it.

  •  Bay Area town: $1500/student recommended donation (7+ / 0-)

    Where I'm living, we listened to an administrator speak about how "there is no more public education". In order for the public school system to continue to deliver a quality service, we have been told, everybody needs to pitch in.

    As I said above, recommended donation, per student, is $1500/year. They want employer matching on that too, if available. There is also a parcel tax for local schools. And aggressive fundraising events, auctions, etc etc. Needless to say, there are materials fees (you have the option of buying all that stuff piecemeal on your own, but it's understood that you're helping out the schools by paying for convenience), and PTA fees, running into hundreds of dollars. There's basic Phys-Ed, but sports is extra-curricular and for-fee. Art and music is volunteer-run and paid by fund-raisers and fees. Parents are hit up to buy books to stock the library.

    My point isn't that it ought to be this way, nor that I resent paying. What I'm saying is, how are other communities supposed to compete with this, outside the realm of Silicon Valley affluence?

  •  Pay to Play (0+ / 0-)

    Pretty soon we will be charged fees to be born.

    Our public school, by design, are FUBAR.

    A government afraid of its citizens is a Democracy. Citizens afraid of government is tyranny! Thomas Jefferson

    by wbishop3 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:41:53 PM PDT

  •  When I was in school in Idaho in the 60's (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, jbsoul, wa ma

    My parents had to pay a book fee. I think it was $5 for elementary and $10 for high school, which was a lot more money in those days. The country has always tried to avoid taxes in right wing areas. Girls in HS sports had to pay their own way, no transportation or uniforms from the district for them. Boys, on the other hand were fully funded. And a bus for the fans was provided as well for football and basketball. Probably paid for from that book fee.

    Cheerleaders at my daughters school in the 90's had to pay for their own very pricey outfits and for a $1000 summer camp for the privilege of worshipping the jocks.  

    Most schools have a fund for folks who can't pay. But school,should be free.  Special ed law says special ed services must provide Free Appropriate Public Education. Too bad the general ed law isn't the same.

    Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Gabby Giffords.

    by Leftleaner on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:44:33 PM PDT

    •  Just because the law says that special ed students (0+ / 0-)

      are legally entitled to a free appropriate public education doesn't mean that most or all special ed students receive one. This is another area where there is a big wealth/opportunity gap because it is not uncommon for parents to have to hire an advocate or lawyer in order to get their child the education they are entitled to.

      •  Thank you yes (0+ / 0-)

        We are now fighting  for the second generation in the SAME small school district on Special Ed rights.

        Not to get into the specifics but you DO have to be willing to fight--and fight HARD--for any small crumb of Special Ed here.  And the instant the kid allegedly  has "mastered"  the  "skill"  they are DROPPED from the program even WITH an IEP==say the kid needed help in math facts;  they "get"  one set of them after help from the Special Ed Math Teacher;  they are then turned OUT of the special classroom and thrown BACK into the regular classroom where of course the general class has MOVED ON so the kid is even FARTHER behind.

        Then the school has to do a re-eval (which can take weeks or MONTHS)  and then possibly maybe put the by now thoroly LOST kid  BACK in the Special Ed class all over again----and let this REPEAT for 12 YEARS.

        The Special Ed teacher told me we should move to FLORIDA where the education system was SO messed up my math-dyslexic kid  would be rated as a genius.


        Now we have a kid who has sensory issues and language problems and we HAVE been on top of this since before the kid turned 2.  He SHOULD be going to K this fall---however it is all we can DO to get a phone call returned much less get the actual TESTING we MUST have done BEFORE he can actually be "assessed"  and tutored--

        Does this sound like a Catch-22 to YOU also????

        But the football program here is fully funded and ready to roll!

  • athletic fees!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cai, wa ma

    This is not going to win converts. Forty years ago we had to have bake sales and sell candy to support band and chess clubs. Anyone who wanted their children to take computer lab when my daughter's were in school had to pay extra. Both my high school and theirs were in different states...Both in the wealthiest parts. Yet these top notch public schools that were farm teams for the ivy leaguers...spent so, so much money on male athletics that there was nothing left for girls tennis, exchange clubs, or the debate team. It has always been this way.

    I'm not disagreeing with you. Things have reached a really really bad place if the parents of male high school athletes are now being asked to chip in. Welcome to the show. Show me a different way where all our children's interests would be supported and I'll be happy to show you how to run a bake sale or sell candy bars.

    •  Not just male, not just football. (5+ / 0-)

      Fees are for any activities, sports, arts, music... you name it.

      So while we can attack football, the point is that every extracurricular activity requires sizable fees, along with many curricular activities.

      Screw John Galt. Who's John Doe?

      by Mike Kahlow on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:01:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jbsoul, Cassandra Waites sure are making a lot of assumptions about me. I know how to run a bake sale, I know how to sell candy bars, popcorn, wrapping paper, magazines, and a whole host of other crap to raise money for school. The point is taxes used to cover all of this 30 years ago - today they don't.These same fees apply to all sports - male and female.

      "Republicans only care about the rich" - George W. Andersen - my late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

      by Mark E Andersen on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:06:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're missing the point of many responses to y... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cai, wa ma, flowerfarmer

        You're missing the point of many responses to your diary. Which is that these fee have always been required of school activities the school did not want to spend its budget on...namely female athletics, music, and nerdier endeavors. Your diary reads like you're totally shocked now that football families have to pony up.

        Where's the list of activity fees I had to pay for my kids to belong to band or the debate club...15 years ago? Where was this outrage then?

        •  Yes, I'm thinking back 35 years ago to when I was (0+ / 0-)

          in high school. I think programs had costs that weren't even recognized because they were getting paid through volunteer, unpaid labor. My mom and a couple of her friends spent many, many hours sewing all the uniforms for our drill team and color guard. She also sewed the flags for the color guard. She also took me out a few times a week in our station wagon to collect newspapers from neighbors because recycling newspapers was one way our band raised funds to pay the costs of the program. (This was before the days of curbside pickup.) This is the tip of the iceberg in terms of the services she donated. This was a relatively affluent school district and the band/color guard had an active, successful booster club and the band consistently scored in the top three at So Cal competitions.

          My oldest daughter is in high school and I don't know of any of my friends or acquaintances who are donating their unpaid labor to the extent that my mom and some other mothers did back then, although I'm sure there are some. Of course, more moms today are working and don't have as much time as moms did back then to devote to volunteering. I'm not even sure out-of-pocket fees have gone up all that much in many areas but I wouldn't be surprised if they have because if you lose access to a significant pool of unpaid labor, that loss has to be made up somehow.

          I think there probably were some schools 30 years ago that covered all the costs of extracurricular activities but if I'm remembering correctly, the kids from other bands we met had similar experiences to ours in terms of paying a lot of their costs themselves through fees or fundraising. The quality of uniforms, equipment and instruments really made a difference in how competitive a band was so this was something we kids paid attention to.

      •  Well, for me, 40 years ago... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cai, Shaylors Provence, wa ma, IamGumby boosters were raising money for uniforms, football boosters were raising money for new helmets...obviously, our district didn't have the tax base that yours enjoyed.

        We all need to take a step back and realize that there are more than 14,000 public school districts in the US, and that they don't all have tax bases that can withstand paying for everything on the wish list.

        Our local public high school has 1500 students. I want my tax dollars to pay for those things that reach the most students in the most effective manner.  Given a choice between funding something that reaches several hundred students each year (say, lab equiment or classroom materials) and something that reaches 50 students each year (say, the football team), I'd rather see tax monies go toward the former.

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 09:31:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not really no--- (0+ / 0-)

        When I was in two VERY wealthy school districts in very wealthy New Jersey towns--Riverdell and NVRHS-D---we had to use bake sales and other "fund raisers"  to cover things that the school did NOT pay for---

        And I graduated in 1976

        This stuff was NOT "covered"  by taxes then---

        But we also were not asked to bring in TOILET PAPER and CLOROX WIPES like we are NOW.  

        That was funded.  

        I am kinda surprised that we are not being told to bring in a few 5 gallon pails of heating oil--did you know in NEW YORK there is NO law that requires ANY heat in ANY school?

        In the school where we now live they have not had hot water in the BATHROOMS--the student bathrooms natch--since the Oil Crisis of the----1970's?   Want to imagine what you might find if you took a few swabs of the rest rooms?

        No wonder they need those Clorox (No substitutes!)  wipes.

  •  Just as a counterpoint, in California, fees like (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    that are illegal. You can't even charge mandatory fees for sports or field trips.

    Of course, they can ask for donations or voluntary contributions.

    Also, rather inexplicably to my mind, it's legal to charge for bus transportation.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 05:58:38 PM PDT

    •  In NY--- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      In NY if your kid is going to PRIVATE SCHOOL the HOME district MUST pay to bus them to and from the PRIVATE SCHOOL.

      Where we live this often means busing the kids out of state into Vermont--a distance of about an HOUR one way in oft times lovely weather.  OR down to Albany ---an hour and a half ONE WAY twice a day.  

      Please note this is NOT if your kid is in private school for some non-academic reason (say they have physical challenges etc)  ---that is NOT what I am ranting about!

      Nope==this is for the kids whose PARENTS are able to pay $20,000 a year for KINDERGARTEN.  And do NOT let these parents hear YOU make a sound about it or they will club you like a baby harp seal!  

      We have a very very bright grand kid who could really benefit from a private school education but of course we can't afford the fees and do we WANT her on an unheated bus for over an hour EACH way?  

      But yet New York State LAW says--the home district MUST pay for the bus;  the driver;  the insurance----and of course this too takes away from actually EDUCATING the kids IN the district.  

      The "excuse"  the parents give you is that "We pay taxes and THIS is what OUR taxes are FOR".  

  •  Everyone complaining about... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbsoul, Glen The Plumber

    ...the fees we are paying for my son to participate in athletics are forgetting something. It isn't about the which sport it is. The point is that 30 years ago there were no fees for these same activities. None. Now there are. Sports are and should be a part of the educational experience.

    My son has gained confidence in his physical abilities and is more physically fit than his friends who do not participate in sports. Team sports, and individual sports make for a well rounded student. Yes, some kids are not athletic and don't participate and that is okay too. But children who want to participate should not have it come down to what a parent can or cannot afford. Yes fees are reduced if a child receives free or reduced price lunch - but, that reduction does not apply to a vast majority of parents - and I can tell you this puts one hell of a strain on my budget.

    The whole point of this post is to show that what was once paid for with taxes is now paid for with user fees.

    If you don't like sports, that s fine - but to because you see no value is no reason to deny kids the opportunity to play.

    "Republicans only care about the rich" - George W. Andersen - my late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

    by Mark E Andersen on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:01:07 PM PDT

    •  I completely disagree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      flowerfarmer, Shaylors Provence

      Why should 3% of students command a good portion of limited funds? All students should have equal opportunity to a good education, funded by taxpayers. Sports are not essential to a good education. It has undeniable benefits for those involved, but it is not a universal benefit.

      UID 100224 "I got a rock"-Charlie Brown

      by eashep on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:27:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not true (3+ / 0-)

      Football has always taken more than its share. In my school the fees were all the same for all sports but they went in one pool. Football got 90% of it!

      Likely you're son is getting more money spent on his football experience than some son is getting for his long distance running CEOs country team experience.  

      Stick to the textbooks.

      •  That outsized money to football is not legal (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        under Title 9, which mandates (nationwide) that spending on sports be in line with your gender ratio. You can, of course, spend your entire boys' sports budget on football...

        I have similarly unhappy memories of football in my high school, but it does not have to be done that way.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:34:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  As a school board member (6+ / 0-)

      and thus someone who once had a say about such things, here are the reasons I supported sports in my district:

      1. At our school, there was a very high participation rate. About 50% of the kids played a sport during their enrollment. Any kid who wanted to play got to play.

      2. The sports programs weren't as expensive on the margin as I expected they would be. Gate fees and specific fundraising by parents covered much of the expense.

      3. For some kids, sports was where they shone at school, and it was a lever to get them excited about getting good grades so they would remain eligible to play. I saw team members do group homework/study sessions and really step up as a group to consider homework and grades important, amongst kids who were previously a little meh on the topic.

      4. Because any kid could play, we attracted students from other schools where they were not good enough to make the team, increasing school revenue. (Conversely, failing to offer those sports would have likely caused us to lose enrollment.)

      5. Some of our low income kids rarely leave our immediate area. Sports gets them out of the valley and out to the coast, to other towns, etc. (I might prefer it not be when class was in session...)

      If a school decides not to offer a sport, that's all good to me, but if they do, they shouldn't exclude kids because they are unable to pay.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:31:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  25 years ago, there were fees (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cai, Shaylors Provence, wa ma

      I was a band nerd. My parents paid and paid, and I had to work part-time to pay for my own instrument (I had no problem with that... I treasured my sax, and still play it today). We were constantly told that there was no money whatsoever for activities like travel to competitions or purchasing new music. This was the year that the football field was completely renovated, including new bleachers, a new press box, and concession stands.
      Meanwhile, sadly, the football players were also bullying the hell out of the band nerds, but that's the way it goes.

      (Please note I'm not suggesting that anyone's son is a bully, or that football players are morally deficient, or that all sports and activities, including debate, tennis, chess, and football, shouldn't be fully and completely funded). I'm merely replying to the idea that thirty years ago, these fees didn't exist. Maybe not in your district, but they certainly did in mine.

      Odds and ends about life in Japan:

      by Hatrax on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:12:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, now, to be fair... (0+ / 0-)
      My son has gained confidence in his physical abilities and is more physically fit than his friends who do not participate in sports. [...] If you don't like sports, that s fine - but to because you see no value is no reason to deny kids the opportunity to play.
      In many areas, there are more than a few opportunities to play outside the public schools. In my somewhat rural county (population around 11,000), we have:

      * Upwards basketball
      * Community soccer leagues
      * Youth football
      * Youth baseball/softball (independent)
      * Pop Warner football
      * Community basketball leagues
      * AAU basketball

      Kids can start play as young as 3 (yes, our youth soccer association offers U4) and play until age 15, 16 or 18,  depending upon the league/sport in question.

      I don't think that any of us can make a blanket statement about what is or isn't available to kids across the country. I'm sure that there are areas in which the only opportunities are those provided by the schools; I'm equally certain that there are areas in which the outside opportunities are equivalent to those provided by the schools, and I suspect that there are places in which the alternatives outstrip the opportunities provided by the schools.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 11:27:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  education is a right (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbsoul, BornLiberal, coppercelt

    and should be free from 1 thru college if one makes the grade of a reasonable score and passes, a strong society is an educated society something the right is scared to death of.

  •  Thanks for bringing this up. Thought it was my ima (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark E Andersen, jbsoul

    ...imagination. As a young adult, I left the country for a couple of decades, and when I came back (with a wife and two kids), I had to pay fees for everything.

    I played on the school soccer team as a kid, and my parents' only burden was the purchase of my shoes and shin guards (which I liquidated with a couple of lawn-mowings).

    What happened?

    Jamás dañar, siempre ayudar.

    by JustGiaco on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:02:52 PM PDT

  •  How much would it cost for every child to be (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbsoul, kayak58, Mostel26

    afforded an education free of cost, including athletics, clubs, arts, meals, and whatever else adds to the education of our children to put them on a path to life?

    What is the cost of not doing this?  What the cost of neglect of our children?

  •  Funny thing: My youngest is also starting high (0+ / 0-)

    school this year, our first year in Texas.

    Our older daughters went to high school in Chicagoland, and we paid hundreds of dollars a year for school fees.

    When we enrolled our baby in the school here (a "recognized" school noted in US News & World Report) and asked about fees, the counselor laughed at us.  "You don't pay fees to go to public school."

    At that moment, Texas looked just a scoonch better.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:21:22 PM PDT

  •  Simple. If it can't be paid for within a school (0+ / 0-)

    budget, it isn't a school related activity.  Don't support it.

    Putting an undue burden on parents who can't afford to pay for their children's participation in these activities is insane.  It puts a new meaning to the haves, and the have-nots.  

    There is a reason that there is a major problem with school bullying.  Adults are enabling it.


    •  No, I can't support this either... (0+ / 0-)

      This is like the some in the ADA crown that demand that if a certain activity or location can't be made accessible to everyone, then no one should be allowed to do that. I can't go for the lowest common denominator. I'm also adamant that not everyone is cut out for college. We can work hard to make life as fairas possible for everyone, but there are limits as to what can or should be done.

  •  You're going to have a rough time (0+ / 0-)

    Convincing people that sports fees are educational.  Football?  At that age?  Not with all the concussions that happen these days.

  •  I feel your pain (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snazzzybird, Cassandra Waites

    "To top this off, any child participating in athletics is also expected to raise funds for the athletic department by selling discount cards for $20 each so that the athletic department has funds for maintenance. This past Wednesday my son and the rest of the football team had to go on a "blitz" to sell as many of the cards as they possibly could in a four-hour period."

    My son is a junior this year, at a public high school within Sonoma County.  During his first two years in high school, he did play football, and he also participated in track.  I am very familiar with the fees you outlined.  He also had to do a blitz around the neighborhood to sell those discount cards that nobody ever uses.  Each player is given 10 to sell initially.  He sold most of his - but his reward?  Go sell more!

    What was even worse, every parent got an e-mail asking us to give the football dept. 20 e-mails of friends and relatives, so they could be shaken down for a donation.  My son begged me not to call the coach and tell him "hell no."  So I gave up the e-mails and sent one to all my relatives and friends apologizing and telling them to just ignore the dunning e-mail they were sure to get.  We were promised it was a one-time fundraiser and e-mails would be dumped.  Wrong!  A month or two later, out went a second batch of e-mails.

    I'm so glad my son is done with football.  

    But I paid $65 for a yearbook (seems ridiculously high) and $45 for an ASB card so he can attend every game, dance, and school event for free (I think that's a good deal).  When he starts driving to school, the parking permit is $20 (although the parking lot is rarely even half full).  It's not the fault of the schools, but it sure it tiring getting nickeled and dimed to death.

  •  Football is not education. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wa ma

    We should sever sports from the educaiton system entirely. Join leagues and clubs that are unaffiliated with schools instead. It's a much better system.

    Passive renunciation is not the whole of wisdom.

    by play jurist on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:35:19 PM PDT

  •  Non-revenue sports' fees are even higher. Our (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cai, wa ma

    debate team had its budget cut by 70% four years ago. That year, nearly every other activity saw a 30% cut. After that year, everyone was put back whole but our debate team.

    Thanks to some ingenuity but one of our parents, we have an ongoing fund raiser of taking paper to a semi-trailer and filling it. Because of community support, this paper truck now funds 50-60% of our team.

    We also get former students and parents to drive because we are not allowed to use a bus driver costs too much to pay. Safety is not a factor.

    You are right on the reasons behind these costs being passed on to parents, but for activities like debate, schools are just dropping programs. We might make kids become salespeople for football, but it's easier to just cut the debate program.

    •  Debate... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...should not be cut either. If everyone paid their fair share in taxes it would not have to be this way.

      "Republicans only care about the rich" - George W. Andersen - my late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

      by Mark E Andersen on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:43:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mark..reread some of your commenters' posts. So... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cai, Shaylors Provence, flowerfarmer

        Mark..reread some of your commenters' posts. Some of us are trying to tell you that taxes have nothing to do with funding inequities. Sure more taxes will mean less fees for FOOTBALL parents. Doubt very much the debate teams or bands or girls soccer will benefit. Why would they? They've had to fend for themselves for decades.

        Our priorities are out of order and have been for a long time. Football has been part of the problem, even when budgets were not so tight.

        •  Re-read the entire diary... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...most of you have missed the entire point of what I wrote. As a matter of fact not one person has said anything about the fees required for the Emerald Ash Borer.

          "Republicans only care about the rich" - George W. Andersen - my late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

          by Mark E Andersen on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 03:37:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  use a picture of the insect next time. (0+ / 0-)

            Everything above the fold is about school fees...fees many of us have been paying since we ourselves were in school. Football parents getting hit up obviously has given us non football people so bad a case of scheudfraud that we didn't have the heart to start in on the property owners, especially if we happened to be renters.

            I have seen other articles discuss what I think it is that you are trying to get across. The examples they often use often come from state colleges and universities...ones that used to be affordable and that now charge fees that are greater than their actual tuitions.

            Note: renters are also getting hit with fees. Every month it seems a new fee gets tacked on to my rent. Sixty dollars worth now...the latest insult is a fucking admin fee of $3. Yes they can do that because now standard leases allow them to just tack shit on. This isn't an extra 50/year that the "bored" home owners might have to pay. This is over $60 extra a month and climbing for non football and non homeowners. Except it doesn't go to any public goes to private profit. That's a story you have my permission to use next time you tackle this subject.

            •  Ummmm---really??? (0+ / 0-)

              I was kinda wondering WHEN the lil ol devastating bug was gonna appear.

              I am NOT saying this insect is not a threat--it is a HUGE threat and NOT just to ash trees.  See the Hudson Valley lose it's 200 year old locust trees and it make me cry.

              But---was the POINT here--football fees or tree fees?  That fees are killing ALL of us?  Fees in lieu of taxes?

              This was not very clear.  

              I get that you are angry and for some good reasons--well good to ME anyways.  I would think that you should contact your County Extension to discuss the tree issue tho---Do you have County Foresters?  

              We all had SUCH  hopes that this past wicked winter would KILL these nasty destructive bugs----

    •  We did paper recycling for fundraising in the 80s. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I had no idea that was still happening and working.

    •  WE were not ALLOWED--- (0+ / 0-)

      We were not allowed to DRIVE our own kids muchless some one ELSES kids to ANY activity--and if you needed to go FETCH your kid afterwards say for a doctors appointment--you were told they had to be RETURNED to the school FIRST and then you would be ALLOWED to pick them up.

      This made my teeth itch.  

      This regime didn't last long partly because other parents got fed up with it but just goes to show how bullies in the Admin Offices can try and micro manage things that should be dictated by common sense.  Say you wanted to go to an away game and then to visit a friend in that town or go to dinner etc--you were expected to drive all the way back to our remote school to retrieve your kid!  

      That same regime tried to not allow kids to have an out-of-District Prom date!  

      And the much beloved Whale Watch trip which we ALL raised money for several YEARS for--you started in 1st grade and the trip was in 5th---was changed after some OTHER schools kid got seasick on the boat.  Didn't affect our hearty farm kids--none of THEM got sick!--and wasn't even near any of our kids.  But--this was the "excuse"  to NOT do the trip.  

      Don't forget--you pay the salaries of these people,  You CAN get rid of them.  We did.  

  •  30+ years ago cheerleading uniforms, etc was (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wa ma

    around $400 that the girls paid  . . . I wasn't a cheerleader but there was a big thing in our high school newspaper about the cost (In Denver, CO)  so some things in public school have had costs for a long time.

    but no, a regular student never paid these

    Activity Fee: $30.00
    Consumable Material Fee: $17.00
    Planner: $5.00
    SCI111-Course Fee Yr: $4.00
    Textbook Fee: $35.00

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:38:43 PM PDT

  •  I made up my mind just tonight to (0+ / 0-)

    start homeschooling.   We have soooo much in buying supplies for the classroom, not to mention adopting classes so the children can feel equal... That means some have to spend 100 or more a semester to help with pencils, pens, kleenex and of course bookbags, glue, etc for those who can't and the school meals are getting smaller not to mention kids carrying chapstick now are considered carrying contraband.  Chapstick !!!!

    Scott has cut so much and local school boards  are almost broke.   We have resource officers, armed of course and code red alerts.   School is not what it once was and teachers are stressed...So am I ...  We also have to buy headphones.   We now have had many activities cut and the truth is, we feel it is one more thing left Not funding the children or the teachers.

    The right is about as wrong as it gets and please help veterans ...Thanks ! United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 07:42:01 PM PDT

    •  I'm in Florida too, Vetwife. Scott has distroyed (0+ / 0-)

      the schools here.  When Bob Graham was in, those good ole days. we didn't have all those fees. My sons were in school then, I also worked as a teacher assistant then.  Our school provided every supply the kids needed, pencils, crayons, paper, everything.  We only asked for maybe a box of klenex or some soap.  Now, I am raising my teenage granddaughter.  She plays the flute, which I just paid off so I wouldn't have to worry about monthly payments since my husband died.  She is in the color guard this year, and the fee was $450.  She also was in chorus, but we had to get her changed out of it, the expenses were just too much.  It was a $75 fee up front, and then fees and travel expenses for various concerts and competitions.  Almost every two weeks there was going to be more money involved.  Add the planner fee of $5.00, locker fees of $4.00, yearbook is $65 if we order now, much higher later in the year.  My husband just died, even with insurance, we are struggling.  We are not going to even be able to keep our house.  She qualified for free lunch this year.  It isn't just education either.  I paid off our cars with some of the insurance money.  To get the paper copy of the titles, you now have to pay another fee!  Everything in this state now calls for a fee!  We don't pay income tax here but the name in Florida for taxes is FEE!

  •  So many changes for the worse (4+ / 0-)

    Yes, a well-rounded education should be provided by taxpayers for all children in public schools.

    I grew up in the Golden Age of public school education,  when school included physical education, sports, music and the arts.  In high school, in addition to hands-on learning and participation, we were brought to theaters, symphonies, and museums.  Actors, poets, writers, and musicians came to our school to teach and discuss their craft and the creative process - and this wasn't done in the auditorium for the whole school at once,  they came to the classrooms!

    It was a small "mill town without a mill", and a percentage of us would never have been exposed to those things until later in life, if at all, if not for the importance placed on a superlative education for public school students.

    There are a multitude of reasons for the decline in public schools, but the money being siphoned from public schools for other types of schools is a disgrace.  We are abandoning the children with the least resources, both financial and emotional, to favor children who already have more resources.

    [Aside: How can K12, a company which provides in-home schooling via computers, paid for from public school funds, afford to spend tens of millions of dollars per State in advertising?]

  •  Easy... (3+ / 1-)

    Eliminate all sports programs in high school. Let those who want to play start a league. Why should my taxes go toward sports? I wonder if anyone has added up what sports cost taxpayers in this country? Has to be in the multiple billions...

    •  5 years..?? took you 5 years to post that... (0+ / 0-)

      what about the of it adds to our society.

      take your libertarian concern trolling and scoot.

      We are not broke, we are being robbed. ~Shop Kos Katalogue~

      by Glen The Plumber on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 08:30:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those are hobbies... (0+ / 0-)


        Sure, a few people get paying jobs in those fields because rich folks want someone to play music at their snotty opera companies, but most people who hope to do so never make a living at these activities.

        The supply of qualified actors and musicians far exceeds the demand and has for most of the last few hundred years. The same can not be said for hardware developers, engineers, scientists, and welders.

      •  I just wish arts and sports could be part of the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glen The Plumber

        in class curriculum for all students even if that means lengthening the school day and the school year. They contribute to the health and well-being and brain development of kids and all kids should have equal access to them. I wish that arts and sports could be taught in a more inclusive and cooperative way with less emphasis on competition that is so characteristic of after-school sports. I wish there was more emphasis on encouraging kids to gain confidence and skills and form the habits they need to maintain an interest in creativity/arts and fitness/sports so they will continue these pursuits for their whole lives.

      •  Why is anyone who disagrees-- (0+ / 0-)

        Once again--WHY is anyone who dares to disagree a TROLL????

        Why are THESE comments not subject to the terrifying HR???

        Where IS the REC button?

        If you were allowed to call anyone who dared to disagree a Nazi===would THIS be HR'ed???

        Stop the name calling it just makes you look stupid.

    •  Stupid comment, but not something that deserves (0+ / 0-)

      a hide rate. Hence, the much undeserved Rec.

  •  Draw up beside the old person cracker barrell here (8+ / 0-)

    In my day …

    —Bus transportation to and from school: FREE
    —All textbooks: FREE
    —All lab courses, theater, chorus, AP, etc.: FREE
    —Driver's ed (one semester of classwork learning the rules of the road: FREE
    —Driver's training (on-the-road learning): FREE
    —Art supplies: FREE

    Uniforms for different activities (cheerleading, sports, band) were lumped together as a group expense (say, uniforms for all band members might cost $2,000) and were paid for by the members of the group involved doing community activites together … lots of car washes, bake sales, stuff like that.

    No one family was required to foot the bill for their kid's uniform. It was a group expense that the whole community as a whole (not just the parents and relatives, but the whole town) participated in paying for.

    And this was a small town (15,000 when I lived there). And we made sure as a community that all kids were paid for, as a group.

    Yes, you paid for your own yearbook, at the end of the year when they came out. If you wanted one.

    But there was an optional ASB card you could pay for at the beginning of the year (around $50) that got you half-price on everything during the year (games, dances, special events, theater admittance and yearbooks).

    It sure seemed to work better back then, when a whole town and school community pitched in to make sure no one did without, and there was no distinction between what the rich kids could do and the poor kids could do.

    Heck, doing it this way meant it was almost impossible to even distinguish between the rich and the poor. And really, isn't that the way we should want it to be for kids today? Equal opportunity to participate in all events if a kid had the talent or interest?

    •  Sitting in the chair next to yours... (0+ / 0-)

      35 years ago for me:

      * No AP courses at all
      * No drivers ed
      * Band did its own fundraising
      * Athletics did its own fundraising

      We have to take our experiences "back then" out of the picture. Today, many schools offer far more across the board then did those of our day. There are 14,000+ school districts in the US; if we're going to discuss this seriously, we have to talk about solutions that scale in both directions.

      In my state, the largest school district (95,000 students) has a resident population of 750,000, a median income of $47,000 and a poverty rate of 16.5%; the smallest (350 students) has a resident population of 2200, a median income of $29,000 and a poverty rate of 26%. It's obvious that all schools cannot be all things to all people; I'd love to hear ideas about how to scale such a mandate across school systems differing in enrollment and tax base by orders of magnitude.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 11:40:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  WEll you could start by (0+ / 0-)

        I may be naive but you could start by taxing the districts at a flat rate and the pooling ALL the monies raised;  allocating some as income bearing investments;  then dividing up the remainder to the school districts EXACTLY THE SAME per capita.

        OR not.

        I think the point is that in our past Wonderland people think that all was perfect and no one knew who the rich kids and the poor kids were----oh balls! EVERYBODY knew.  

        The only way to find schools FAIRLY and EVENLY is to make sure EVERYBODY pays fairly and equally and that MEANS taxing the rich at the SAME RATE or higher as the REST of us.  For instance if a millionaire buys my house they would pay the SAME rate of taxes as "Poor Me" does---is that FAIR?  Is it EVENHANDED?  Well--no.  Should I get a tax "break"  because my taxes in a rural district are about 8% of our TAKE HOME?  I know that doesn;t sound like much but the only bills I have that come remotely close are our super high electric bills--which DOUBLED in the past year or so--and--wait--nope.  Nothing else except perhaps food.  

        When I have to out off FIXING the house we are paying those high taxes ON to PAY the taxes--something is wrong.    We will NOT be able to live here after retirement.  

        And--going back to a system where BUSINESS was FORCED to pay ITS FAIR SHARE===well am I dreaming????

    •  Agree Susan, it was that way when I was a kid too. (0+ / 0-)

      Not any more.  Yes they still have fundraisers, and if a child does have issues with money, sometimes they can get a sponsor, but not always and not easily these days.  My granddaughter was in Jr. High band last year, they had a fee at the beginning of the year, held a fundraiser that paid all but about a third of it, and they worked hard to earn that.  Car washes, and selling popcorn.  The rest we had to pay.  They went to a competition in Tampa, played against high school bands and won first place!  My granddaughter plays three instruments, piano (or keyboard), guitar and flute and this year is doing color guard in high school.  It has done so much for her self esteme, she has had a rough life, with one parent with mental health issues and another who was an addict.  She has just lost her grandpa, her only father figure in her life and is terrified of losing me.  She has health issues, born with them and they challenge her everyday of her life.  Kids need these programs, especially kids like her.  She has weight issues, partly a result of her health problems and the kids in band and color guard don't care, accept her for herself.  She works her butt off.  She also is taking one IP course and 1 honors course.  Sorry I am bragging, but can't help it.  Guilty of being proud grandma!

  •  I had kids in high school sports (0+ / 0-)

    back in the early 90s…one private, one public. One played soccer, the other ran cross-country and track. Both had a certain amount of pay-to-play. Private school expected the kids to sell a fixed amount of advertising; my daughter and another girl on the team had their dads gang up on the company they both worked for to take out a good-sized ad in the yearbook, problem solved. With the public school it was uniform land booster fees that didn't amount to a whole lot. The kids supplied their own shoes and Gatorade.

    Now the textbook fees and lab fees are another story entirely. I of course expected to have to buy books at my daughter's Catholic school, but of course you tried to get used books if possible. I vaguely remember a nominal textbook fee when I was in high school, but no lab fees except for art classes which were all electives. My son's public high school charged a much higher textbook fee but I don't remember if there was a lab fee when he took biology. The thing I really objected to was a nebulous "activity fee" that his high school charged but never would specify exactly what it was for. I tried to find out several times but never got a satisfactory answer. On the whole, I really preferred dealing with the Catholic school; at least they were up front about what the charges were and what the money went for.

    Being "pro-life" means believing that every child born has a right to food, education, and access to health care.

    by Jilly W on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 08:21:01 PM PDT

  •  One up: My three kids, twins at 8 (3rd grade) and (4+ / 0-)

    my six year old, go to public school in Encinitas, an upper middle class district in SoCal.

    They ask $350 per child for ordinary school related stuff: science program with teacher, choral class, with teacher, and other "enrichment" programs. Field trips extra, $35 and up, and parents have to drive, no buses.

    That's $1000 per year. We can swing it (but, we don't go anywhere for vacation), we don't eat out, we buy all their clothes used, we both work, solid middle class stuff, small tract house.

    What do poor people do?

    Those who quote Santayana are condemned to repeat him. Me

    by Mark B on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 08:24:15 PM PDT

    •  and sports are extra! plus, buy pens, pencils, gl (2+ / 0-)

      glue, paper, notebooks etc to school.

      Those who quote Santayana are condemned to repeat him. Me

      by Mark B on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 08:27:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No snark--- (0+ / 0-)

      Poor people are the ones selling those gently worn clothes to you to make our OWN ends meet!

      Yes this is what I do---sell on ebay and consignment

      Bought my own kids clothing at yard sales and thrift stores and got my own education this way.  I never paid much attention  before to brand names but learned quickly.

      In our school we did not have such fees but just living here in NY is expensive (and I am far far away from NYC!)  And we are lucky that the kids grand parents were willing and able to help with some expenses.  

      Now we have grandkids in the same district and I see the lists come home for what you have to "donate"  to the classroom---Wipes,  crayons,  pencils, tissues etc.  

      I do make a point of looking after school starts for the clearance sales (sometimes when they first go on sale too)  of super cheap "Loss Leaders"  of these same items and buy as many as I can and send them into the teachers.  IF crayons are--say--.25 a box--I can afford to buy 10 or so boxes and send them in,  I see local people buying school supplies at Rite Aid where they cost 10 times that much.  
      Glue sticks
      Notebook paper
      Art supplies
      All of these are on sale for cheap now and will be lower in a week or two around here--buy some and donate.  You don't have to have a kid in school to do this.

      I just do NOT understand tho--with the BUYING POWER of the combined school districts in even just ONE State----could they not broker DEALS on this stuff????

      If Walmart can do it--so can schools.

  •  I Put Off . . . (6+ / 0-)

    . . . commenting while I did some thinking, because I think that both "sides" of the fees-for-extracurricular-activities make excellent points. It's an especially charged subject for me, because I am a high school English and Special Education teacher. And extracurricular activities pretty much saved me when I was in high school. I'll do my best to keep it brief:

    When I was about 12 years old I started suffering from severe anxiety, and began having panic attacks. The cause seemed obvious: My family was breaking up; my Mom didn't want me to live with her, and my Dad was a pilot, so I was essentially parent-less for days at a time. My response was to cut school whenever my Dad was on a trip. I didn't really do anything "bad," other than smoking and sitting by the river near my house, but I was nevertheless flunking out of school.

    Music and drama saved me. I was cast in plays, and sang with the "Show Ensemble." My drama and music teachers  both told me that if I cut any more classes, I was out. Since these activities represented one of the few true joys I of my life at the time, I stopped cutting.

    Like many teachers, I have had some issues with the varsity athletics programs: Last year, for example, the school added two new positions for coaches, while leaving an English position unfilled. This meant that the English faculty had to take on the additional work of the position that was cut.

    But (as Pee-Wee Herman said, "Everyone I know have a big but") there's this. I teach kids in the Occupational Course of Study (OCS)--a high school curriculum for students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities. One of our OCS students (Mild Disability) loved football, and was very good at it. He wanted to play for his favorite college team. But OCS program courses don't meet the requirements for university admission (although students can cover that by taking courses at community colleges after graduation).

    So this kid worked very hard in his classes and took advantage of school-provided tutoring, and at the end of his freshman year he was able to transfer to the College-Ready course of study. And he earned a football scholarship from his preferred university.

    I should add that "Mild Intellectual Disability" covers a lot of territory, and he was certainly on the high end of the spectrum. Still, I can't help but think that the football program played a significant role in helping this student fulfill his potential.

    So anyway, despite my mixed feelings, I'm on the side of fully-funded high school athletics (according to the dictates of Title IX, of course).

    "Fortunately, our handsomest politicians came up with a cheap, last-minute way to combat global warming. We simply drop a giant ice cube into the ocean every now and then. Thus solving the problem once and for all." -- Futurama

    by IamGumby on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 08:34:32 PM PDT

    •  your comment is spot on. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IamGumby, Giles Goat Boy


      We are not broke, we are being robbed. ~Shop Kos Katalogue~

      by Glen The Plumber on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 08:39:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I Should Clarify . . . (0+ / 0-)

      The anxiety and panic attacks started when I was 12, but I didn't start cutting classes till I got to high school.

      "Fortunately, our handsomest politicians came up with a cheap, last-minute way to combat global warming. We simply drop a giant ice cube into the ocean every now and then. Thus solving the problem once and for all." -- Futurama

      by IamGumby on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 09:03:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So, I'm curious... (0+ / 0-)

      ...if the kid who got into college with a football scholorship will graduate from college with a degree, GPA, and rank that will be consistent with that expected of those who didn't play football from that school?

      Public education isn't there to insure that the NFL has a steady supply of fresh meat for the line.

      The goal isn't to get kids into college, the goal is to get them into life prepared to support themselves and their families and, at worst, not be a drag on society.

      Should schools also fund extracurricular religious clubs and activities? After all, those that devote their lives to religion probably, on the net, benefit society and themselves (BTW, I'm an atheist) - probably more than the average high school football star without other talents.

      •  I'm not sure I understand your question. (0+ / 0-)

        So I want you to know that I'm not being snarky or intentionally obtuse in whatever I'm about to write (I'm still puzzling it out as I type.) But you seem to be making some assumptions that aren't really warranted by what I wrote.

        I'm guessing that he won't be on the Dean's list, and that college will be very hard work for him. If I had to make a prediction, I'd guess that his grades will be average to low average. I suspect that's consistent with quite a few of our graduates, and with quite few a college students in general--probably quite a few more than those who make the Dean's List.

        His preferred college is not one of the major state universities; I don't remember if it is Division II or Division III. Either way, he's extremely unlikely to be drafted by a pro team, and I don't think he has any plans to pursue a professional football career.

        As I see  it, the football program helped him be more successful in high school, just as drama and music helped  me. He has a mild intellectual disability, but so do many people who go on to have successful and rewarding careers. He's a very good football player, but not a star, and I'm not sure why you think he might not have any other talents.

        As for school/taxpayer-funded religious clubs, I'm pretty sure they would be unconstitutional. And I'm not an atheist; I'm an Episcopalian (granted, we're popularly believed to be the least religious religion in the country). But I disagree with your suggestion that religious people are probably better for society than this kid might be. I'd go so far as to say that many, if not most, Religious Fundamentalists are a positive detriment to our national well-being. And people who look forward to Armageddon are the last people to whom one would want to entrust a temporal society. Think Slim Pickens and the bomb in Dr. Strangelove. :)

        "Fortunately, our handsomest politicians came up with a cheap, last-minute way to combat global warming. We simply drop a giant ice cube into the ocean every now and then. Thus solving the problem once and for all." -- Futurama

        by IamGumby on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:15:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for sharing this story and thank you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      for your work you do with special ed students. Obviously, I am only familiar with how things are going in my children's district, but it seems that our special ed students have a lot of unmet needs and I worry about the kids who aren't on the high end of the spectrum for "mild intellectual disability".

      Last year our district got a significant increase in funding from the state. They didn't use those funds to increase the special ed budget but the district did lower fees for extracurricular sports and activities. The district needed to increase the numbers of teachers for its special ed special day classes and they funded that by cutting the number of resource room teachers supporting students who spent most of their time in general ed classes. As the mother of a high school student with mild intellectual disabilities, this was heartbreaking.

      •  I Think Your Concern is Warranted (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wa ma

        I'll admit that I don't have any sort of solid grasp on how our Exceptional Children programs and classes are funded, but in my (very low-income) school district, Special Ed teachers are facing many of the same challenges as Regular Ed teachers: cutting teacher positions means that Special Ed teachers see their workloads increase every year. For example, one Special Ed teacher teaches all four grade levels of OCS English--a full-time teaching load, with all of the duties and expectations of every other full-time teacher.

        But that teacher is also expected to manage a case load of 15-20 Special Ed students. The paperwork required for each student each year is substantial. And in addition, teachers are expected to perform formal and informal classroom observations of each student on their caseload (these observations are absolutely essential for accurately assessing student needs and progress), ensure that students are receiving appropriate modifications and accommodations in each of their classes, manage behavior plans for Special Education students with behavior issues, and work to schedule annual IEP meetings that include parents, administrators, counselors, district Special Ed representatives, and regular education teachers, all of whom have different and often conflicting schedules.

        So I'm afraid that yes, kids across the disability spectrum seem to be, in general, at increasing risk of not receiving the services to which they are entitled, and which they need to be successful in school. And I believe that students on the middle and low ends of the spectrum are much more likely to see their educations suffer for it.

        My heart goes out to you and your student. I deeply appreciate your engagement with these troubling issues.

        "Fortunately, our handsomest politicians came up with a cheap, last-minute way to combat global warming. We simply drop a giant ice cube into the ocean every now and then. Thus solving the problem once and for all." -- Futurama

        by IamGumby on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:01:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I need to do more and am capable of doing more but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I got so discouraged last year that I was not very engaged at all. I am hoping to do better at advocating this year for the students and the teachers.

          Again, thank you so much for taking on the demanding and sometimes thankless task of educating high needs kids. You have my admiration, my gratitude and my sympathy.

          •  To Be Honest (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wa ma

            I've taught regular education English as well as Special Education English classes, and while I enjoyed both, I especially enjoy Special Education classes. The OCS track has fewer students than the College-Ready track, so we do enjoy smaller class sizes. Plus, since I taught all four levels, I got to work with the same students each semester/year (depending on the schedule). Being able to build long-term relationships with students makes teaching more rewarding (and fun). :) But thanks so much, and back atcha. :)

            "Fortunately, our handsomest politicians came up with a cheap, last-minute way to combat global warming. We simply drop a giant ice cube into the ocean every now and then. Thus solving the problem once and for all." -- Futurama

            by IamGumby on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:51:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I worked in Special Ed in elementary when I was a (0+ / 0-)

              teacher assistant.  I think special ed teachers are amazing.  That was in the days before mainstreaming.  We pulled kids out of regular class and worked with them in small groups.  If a child was giving the classroom teacher problems, as special ed kids often did, we often pulled them for the whole day, working with not just education but behavior modification.  Autism was poorly understood in the 80's, and looking back at a number of our students, many fit into that category.  Some were probably mild, others had more problems.  One child in particular comes to mind, he seemed to always have his head in the clouds and did strange things, like walking through the halls moving his arms up and down and making motor noises.  One teacher finnally figured out he was imitating the dumpster truck!  He was also brilliant, a photographic memory, remembered every word he read!  But lived in his own little world.  Had I become a teacher, I would have loved being a special ed teacher.  You all rock!

              •  Well this helps explain why--- (0+ / 0-)

                Well this helps explain WHY a family member who is a highly skilled and trained Special Ed teacher cannot seem to actually FIND a public school JOB!

                She can find substitute and some private school work or paid "special needs"  day care etc--but not a full time job for which she is highly qualified and motivated.  

                This is now such a problem that even tho she just got her Masters IN Special Ed working with severely challenged students she might switch into an OT or other therapy track.

                And I will say again--you should have your State Board look into this mis=appropriation of funds.  Also your states Attorney General.  

  •  "Gatorade fee"? WTF?? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Lewis's Law: "The comments on any article about feminism justify feminism."

    by Risen Tree on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 09:27:18 PM PDT

    •  Yeah.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Risen Tree

      ...I am still waiting for a response as to what exactly that is for.

      "Republicans only care about the rich" - George W. Andersen - my late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

      by Mark E Andersen on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 03:45:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In our kids ball program--- (0+ / 0-)

        In  our lids elem soft ball program we were asked to pay a "Snack Shack"  FEE--and if we agreed to actually WORK in the shack we were to pay MORE!!!!

        Since none of us had ever--in 25 years of living in the district and attending this same school--EVER seen this Shack actually OPEN for this class of ball--we refused to pay this.  And in fact the Shack never DID open for either practice or games.  

        This was a 2 nd-3rd grade level

        We did attend a tournament at a larger districts multi-plex field and they had a small restaurant on premises.  

        This happened this school year and was NOT school sponsored altho they do let us use the fields.  

  •  Sports and extra curricular activities are NOT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and never have been part of a free education...  aside from that caveat, schools are increasingly required to ask for more and more donations in the form of classroom supplies and voluntary fees just to make ends meet and continue to provide the the level of experiences and services that have come to be accepted from public education.  Ask to see your local school's discretionary budget to see just what I mean - I'll guarantee it's pretty dismal and will probably give you a different perspective on the requested fees and supplies...

    •  Did you not read my diary? (0+ / 0-)

      Because in my community, 30 years ago, they were.

      "Republicans only care about the rich" - George W. Andersen - my late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

      by Mark E Andersen on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 03:45:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're simply wrong on this, kitkat7. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark E Andersen, IamGumby

      I'm about the same age as Mark, and I went to a public high school in Wisconsin not far from Madison. There were no fees for extracurricular activities at that time. I was not much of an athlete, but I participated in the drama club, two choirs, and a bunch of other after-school stuff.

      One can make an argument that these activities shouldn't be free, but the fact is they once were.

      The driver ed is a very big deal. It was free in 1976 when I took it and it was offered through the school. Now it is not even offered. We paid nearly $300.00 each for my kids to get lessons and get their licenses - the licenses that our state wants to use for voter id purposes. Connect the dots.

      I’d rather be a hammer than a nail. Yes, I would, If I only could. I surely would....Paul Simon

      by Giles Goat Boy on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 05:45:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Once upon a time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a little Syrian boy was adopted by a loving American couple.  They were of modest means but brought him up and sent him to the local public school.  The child was extremely bright but frustrated with the regular school curriculum.  In high school he met an amazing teacher by the name of John McCollum who helped spark an interest in electronics.  The boy attended college briefly, where he took offbeat classes, like calligraphy, before dropping out.

    I speak, of course, of the late Steve Jobs.

    Steve's life enriched millions.  Not just for the billions of dollars he generated, or the thousands (tens of thousands ? more ?) who work for Apple or Pixar or one of the many ancillary businesses (writing user guides or making custom iPod cases, etc.).  His real legacy isn't even the products he brought to life.  It's his ideas, his way of looking at things that we benefit from.

    Where would all of us be today if the public school his working class parents sent him to didn't offer enrichment-type classes like electronics ?  Or allowed him to be exposed to the arts ?  

    If we continue to cut non-academic or enrichment activities (or put them behind "paywalls"), where will the next Steve Jobs come from ?

    •  Umnmmm----not exactly (0+ / 0-)

      He was NOT a "Little Syrian Boy"  he was the SON of a Middle Eastern man and born in the USA and abandoned.

      Believe his father is still alive in Nevada.    

      Not saying he did not "rise above"

      Just get the facts straight.  These same people had OTHER kids who were ALSO abandoned!

      And his company is and was built on SLAVE LABOR from China.  

      Apple exists to enrich Apple CEOs and shareholders--if they happen to provide an interesting experience to others while lining their pockets then they have had a good day.

      It would cost only a few bucks more to actually MAKE the "i" products here in the USA--ask Apple WHY they REFUSE to actually DO this instead of using Chinese slave labor.  Go on--we will wait for you.  

      This is one reason WHY Apple products are so very tightly controlled--and why you must PAY for everything.  No open source for Apple!  And why they can sell billions and billions of the "Latest"  "i" product???--they abandon support for the older product lines!   So you have to pay for the device AGAIN and then pay AGAIN for all of the apps---clever no?????

      Cold controlling and very calculating that little boy grew up to be.  

  •  Free Education (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chicago minx

    Your kid's education is free. His participation in optional sports activities and memorabilia items are not and should not be paid by the tax payer. Your state's constitution doesn't guarantee him free football camp, Gatorade, uniforms, transportation or any other thing connected with it nor does it guarantee a year book.
    Pay for your son's non education activities (that schools have no business providing anyway)

  •  Where did the money go? (0+ / 0-)

    There is a much bigger story behind the lack of funding for public schools and public works, that is only hinted at in this diary.  It's disturbing to me to see some of the comments here, particularly the facile remarks about liberals not supporting education.

    When the Masters of the Universe ate Wall St. the economies of many towns and cities took a huge hit and have not recovered.  Now we have cities and towns in dire financial straits, with a tax base consisting of people who also took the hit, and can't afford to just pony up the money to make up the difference.  The population is also aging, and once a person passes into "fixed income" status, their ability to keep increasing their contribution goes away.

    At the same time, the federal government has been reducing their share of support, year after year after year.  When you think about what's been coming out of Washington over the past 10 years or so in terms of support for education, not only is there no increase in the contribution, there's a huge increase in the burdens that D.C is putting on schools.  All we hear about are new mandates for testing.  I believe the only news I've heard about increased funding is the result of these "contests" the feds have been holding -  Which school can adopt our draconian improvements the best?  That school gets a little bit of money.

    As far as I'm concerned, if you think this problem is caused by people with plenty of money wanting to pay very low taxes, you haven't been paying attention to the systemic issues, and are ignoring The Big Squeeze.

    If you think it's ok that people in their 70s are being forced out of their homes due to rising property taxes, you should think again.

    We can probably all agree that the ideal situation is to get federal school funding restored to pre-Reagan levels.  We can probably also agree that that isn't going to happen overnight.  Where we seem to be in some disagreement is what should be done in the meantime to keep things going.  

    •  The law of unintended consequences (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wa ma

      The fees you mention have been ruled unconstitutional in California several times. But like the hydra's heads they keep popping up in different guises, a favored being the athletic team "spirit pack." Most parents pay these fees knowing they are illegal because they fear their kids will be cut from the sports team if they don't. As a high school coach I am acutely aware of the issue. It's a Catch 22. All extracurricular activities must be free for students, but there is no law that requires taxpayers to pay for them either. The money for uniforms, balls, tournament entry fees, facility maintenance, insurance, match and game officials, etc. has to be raised and the responsibility falls on the coaches of the individual sports. And it's not cheap. It costs about $750 to equip a single football player, for example. Due to decades of budget cuts, most California high school coaches are no longer certified school district employees, teachers or administrators. Most walk-on head coaches earn stipends of $3,000-$7,000 per season, which they often share with their assistant coaches, who would otherwise not get paid. Its not unusual for a head coach to put in about 30-50 hours a week for a 16-week season. Therefore, high turnover among coaches, especially assistants, is endemic. A huge amount of the head coach's time is spent coordinating fundraising, much of it out of season. And fundraising is fraught with issues. Parents often offer to donate money as a quid pro quo. They expect their kids to get more playing time at the expense of the student-athletes whose parents cannot afford to donate. And even if the child of a wealthy donor earns the playing time, there will be disgruntled parents claiming otherwise. Knowing they need not donate, many parents decline to contribute money or time even when they have the means. These issues are nothing new. But they have been exacerbated by the 1978 passage of Prop. 13. As a California property owner, I benefit from the Jarvis-Gann Initiative. It makes it easier to plan for retirement in a state with crazy property booms (and busts) knowing that property taxes do not rise proportionately when property values double in less than a decade. But as a high school coach and parent, I see every day where Prop. 13 bleeds the schools like a sentence of death from a thousand cuts.

      Americans are in real trouble. The oligarchs are misanthropes.

      by Road to1 Escondido on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:09:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  All fees except extracirricular (0+ / 0-)

    Neither my wife, nor I, went to a public school. We've been married 46 years. Never had any kids. Have been homeowners for 35 years.

    In other words, we've been paying property taxes (primarily for schools) for 35 years.

    For extracurricular activities, sorry but suck it up and pay for those activities yourself. Sports is probably the worst.

    How many parents are REALLY concerned about the activity versus the possibility of their kid getting a scholarship to college?

    We now have, in this area, the parents of home schooled kids wanting to force the public schools to allow their kids to be able to join these sports activities.

    Funny. I've yet to hear of ONE of these parents wanting the public schools to allow their kids to participate in the chess club or the debate club.

    •  Yep, it's the consumerist approach to education. (0+ / 0-)

      Too many parents are of the opinion that they drop off a kindergartener and come back later to pick up a fully functional adult - and that everything in between is either the school's responsibility or the school's fault.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:00:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You exhibit a shortsightedness ... (0+ / 0-)

      shared by many people. The no. 1 program in any school district keeping at-risk students in school and on track to graduate are interscholastic sports. Everyone, even childless couples, benefit from an educated population. With a higher standard of living from education, people pay more in taxes. More people paying higher taxes keep your tax bill lower. So suck it up.

      Americans are in real trouble. The oligarchs are misanthropes.

      by Road to1 Escondido on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 02:03:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Once again--here in NY--- (0+ / 0-)

        Once again here in NY the schools MUST provide homeschooled kids the SAME school funded activities as the kids who show up between 8 and 3.  

        That said they also have to ALLOW the parents to homeschool AND the kids must keep up with the curricula and pass whatever tests etc they would have to pass if they were in the school building every day.

        Some families do a "Partial"  home school in that for certain classes such as Arts or Science the kids come to the school--this too the school MUST accomodate.  

        After all the parents too are taxpayers.  Some will argue that by homeschooling they actually relieve some of the burden on the school itself---teacher and class size wise and infrastructure--and they STILL pay taxes.  

        I have seen this used as a public selling point on some local Church-run schools too.

        Did have to laugh long and hard when a TEACHER in our school decided that OUR school was NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR HER KIDS and took them out and put them in a "School"  run by some of their Church people--none of them actual teachers--because our school was not GODLY enough for her.  Kinda lost oh about ALL of my respect for her.  She also told us that our math-dyslexic kid should not have to WORRY about learning actual MATH as she would ALWAYS have a calculator!  Makes ya go---hmmmmm.  

  •  This is why high school and college athletics... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...are bullshit.

    Music? Art? Phys.Ed? Surely of value.
    H.S. and college athletic teams? A waste, and an impediment to character development.

    Name one person who accomplished something great and owes it to school team sports. Pro athletic fame doesn't count. We're waiting...

    Now name one heinous event involving school athletes - from the news or personal experience. It's a lead pipe cinch. Try to keep it under a fast half dozen.

    The day art students come 'round raising money, I'll buy the giant, no-name, crappy candy bars.
    Come hustling for "the team", and you can fuck right off.

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:53:37 AM PDT

    •  Off the top of my head (0+ / 0-)

      Eisenhower was a fullback at West Point.

      Bradley in Basketball.

      Sorry you hate sports.

      Can we also call out all the musicians and artists who have done wrong?

      BTW my daughter sold candy bars  for her drama class...where were you?

      •  Eisenhower never pretended that football... (0+ / 0-)

        ...made him what he was. Ditto for Bradley.

        I don't hate sports, BTW. I played soccer and lacrosse in high school. I liked the sports. I hated jock culture that is mandatory in this country if you play HS or college sports.
        Jock culture pervades. Half the jocks are assholes, and the other half tolerate it all.
        Ask anybody who tries to get up pickup b-ball games. The jock a-holes are the ones who think throwin' elbows at 55 is all that it's about.
        You think it's just coincidence? The grossest sex scandals involve not the modern European Lit. Dept., not the college of paleontology, but always the Athletics Dept.

        The highest paid state employees in every state are some kind of college athletic coach. We are seriously screwed.

        I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

        by labradog on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 03:41:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We are not screwed (0+ / 0-)

          Sorry you had so much trouble with your team mates.  Maybe you should look in the mirror.

          My wife works at the Children's Hospital in Denver, 4 of the top docs in her dept. were D1 athletes.

          So, out of all the men in prison for rape, how many were athletes in high school and college?  Got some stats to back you up?

          •  Wonderful docs may come from awful origins. (0+ / 0-)

            Do any of those doctors credit fu'ba' with making their careers happen? Did it light the spark of wanting to heal?
            Or is it just something that was fun, and they eschewed jock culture out of personal decency?

            I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

            by labradog on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 06:33:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  There are plenty (0+ / 0-)

            There are plenty of stats on the relationship of football in particular to violence and violence towards women.

            But here we see the almost knee jerk reaction to some one DARING to question the validity of a pack of overly large guys in menacing uniforms padded out to look like Sumo wrestlers tossing around a ball on a field and attacking each other.  

            Some of whom do go out and rape and murder and drive drunk and do serious drugs.  And some do not.

            And the ones that don't see the relationship----well---

            And before you accuse ME of being "Anti Football"  (like that means I am anti-American!)  let me assure you I am not---exactly.

            As it is played and turned into a cult today--yes--I am

            And I don't think it deserves the position  it has here and I don't think it should be funded by the school at the expense of other things.  When ALL schools in America have ALL the things they NEED to educate students--then come see me about funding football.

            AS an aside--if my Grandmother had not fallen in love with the Star Football Player of Cliffside Park NJ back in the 30's I would not BE here.  

  •  Murica hates (0+ / 0-)

    its children...especially middle class and economically stressed children...and teachers.

  •  Sports do not equal education (0+ / 0-)

    Sports are not education just like money is not free speech.  If you wish to send your child off into a sport (that, by the way, has incredibly high odds of him getting a debilitating injury and an equally high incidence of decreased knowledge--you know, easier tests because he's on the football team), that is your affair.

    There are plenty of things, he/she can do to be fit besides football, basketball, baseball, etc. organized for the purpose of beating other schools no matter the cost.

    Don't you think there is enough dick waving going on in this country already?  Don't you think there is too much head butting and too little negotiating?

    I'm not paying for that with my tax dollars!!

    "Free" education is something we all chip in on so everyone gets one.  I am all for that!!  Learning how to win at any cost--NOT!

  •  Go Wisconsin (0+ / 0-)

    Another state turns red.  The people have spoken and decided that they want to support a government that craps on the voters.  Luckily they get another shot in the Fall.  Hope this time they vote in their own self interest rather than believe the slick propaganda and hype.  Hope they realize that this is just step one.  Watch for a ploy to move Soc Sec and Medicare to state control under block grants.  Then you can watch the knives as the gut the whole program.

  •  Any and all athletics (0+ / 0-)

    and extracurricular activities should not be funded by the schools or the taxpayers.

  •  Thankful and Blessed (0+ / 0-)

    Yet another reason that I'm thankful and blessed that I don't have children

  •  And the problem is: (0+ / 0-)

    School tax is the majority of the property tax bill.  I think they should cut down on the administration in education, starting with DPI.  Some educated people should not be educators.

    •  The Supt are just--- (0+ / 0-)

      The Supt's are just glorified Complaint Departments and the positions could be done just as well with any reasonably trained manager.  

      IF you can manage one sort of business you can learn to manage another---it's a moveable skill.

      Maybe there would be some cost savings in that too.

  •  It's a bit hard to tell... (0+ / 0-)

    but it appears that most of those fees are either optional or related to a choice to participate in something that used to be known as "extra-curricular activities."  In short, you chose to play football (in this case) and then end up with fees solely associated with that choice.

    I'm not sure about the "planner" but I came up with $39 in total, which, oddly enough, is only a couple dollars more than I paid way back in 1965.  We actually had to buy our books, and depending upon what classes we took, they might cost more than that.  We could sell them back to the school at the end of the year unless a new book was replacing it.

    Now...let's put this in perspective a different way.  The "cost" of an education (not including playing football) is $39.  What's the cost of not having an education?

    On any reasonable balance sheet, I'm betting that's a pretty darn good investment, and for most people, not really a deal breaker.  I can't say the education is top quality, but it's probably cheaper and more cost-effective than other options.

  •  Alternative Countries? (0+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately unless we're able to correct course your son may find life better in another country.

    As money printing ends when the dollar is no longer the default currency inflation will be the order of the day with prices increasing 2x and 3x and more.  Not that we already haven't seen some of this in our food costs while junk electronics are dropping in price just to get people to spend their remaining money or max out the credit card.

  •  Some school fees you won't believe... (0+ / 0-)

    Something the author didn't mentioned was transportation fees. You want to ride the bus to school...your parents won't drive you or you don't want to walk to prepared to pay these amounts:

    Type      Event     Month     Annual     Household Cap
    Monthly      n/a             $30            $240      $480
    Prepay-Annual  n/a  n/a         $200       $400
    Per Ride      $2             $30            $240      $480
    Initial Pass      Free                  
    Replacement Pass      $5                  

    Flat fees rates (includes both pre-paid annual and $30 monthly) are non-refundable unless you move out of the district.

    Living in Colorado (legalized recreational/medicinal pot) where the state is making a killing off legal would think some/all of this money would be put toward schools...but heaven forbid you connect something like this to kids getting a free education.

  •  Here goes (0+ / 0-)

    Once a family no longer has children in elementary or high school, should they be burdened with the cost to maintain it? My neighbors don't pay my car insurance. And the people that work at the grocery store don't pay my property taxes. And yet I will be saddled with paying property taxes that the majority of goes to the state school system till the day I die. We only had one child. My neighbors have 4. Another neighbor has six. So I am subsidizing another family. I think I should get to claim another tax exemption. But no, our crap ass Rethuglican governor screwed all retirees by taxing their pensions to boot.
     I believe in pay to play. When schools siphon funds off for foolishness like athletics my blood boils. Are the schools there to EDUCATE ALL STUDENTS or just serve ATHELETES so they can get a free ride to some college? I live in Michigan and it's as bad as Wisconsin.

  •  Your comment was well written and accurate from... (0+ / 0-)

    Your comment was well written and accurate from my experience. You didn't offer a solution, I don't have one. Best effort IS STAY INVOLVED.

  •  This something that REALLY makes me mad. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    1500honda, Mark E Andersen

    I graduated from high school in 1965. My major activity was band. The only money we had to raise was for a trip to Los Angeles to March for the Rams. This was a town with one high school, so all non-home games were out of town. I played the piccolo which was provided by the school at no cost. Even our meals on out of town trips were paid (nothing fancy, of course). Besides football games we also went to marching band and concert band contests (where we always walked away with first in everything) as well as solo and ensemble contests. My parents did't pay an extra penny more for me than students in chorus or any of the sports, or even students with no extracurricular activities.
    Recently a friend of mine had a daughter in the drum line of a high school band. I don't remember all the extra fees she paid, but one was to use the school drumsticks! All told, it cost an extra $1,000 to have her daughter in band.
    This is just plain wrong. For most of us, all the great memories from high school involved band or chorus or whatever extracurricular we were in. Not to forget the life long friends we made.
    How do legislators sleep at night?
    My parents were not wealthy so if they had had to pick up the tab like my friend did for her daughter, I would not have had all these memories. I hate to even consider high school without band!
    This is absolutely the most discriminatory practice possible. Only priveledged children get the priveledge of being in band, chorus, football, basketball, baseball, tennis, swimming, art, etc. in "FREE" public schools. No need to pay tuition for a private school to have all the priveledges.
    I am just so angry at all the wasted and untapped talent! How can this even be Constitutional? Is it any worse than some religions that refuse to allow woman any role outside their home and forego the benefit those women could bring to their society?
    These "Christian" legislators and their governors (depending on the actual power of the governor) and their media mouth piece Fox, rant about Muslims and other religions who don't even want to educate girls. (Although, even in these religions, it is increasingly only radical "fundamentalists" who hold these views). Evangelical "Christians" are trying to turn back the clock on the women in their ranks. It wasn't all that long ago in this country when women could not own anything in their own right and they were legally the property of their husbands.

  •  On the school fees.. (0+ / 0-)

    Other than the materials, planner, course and texbook fees, everything else is related to extracurriculars or optional (yearbook).

    And the WI bill you referenced only covers tuition.

    Now, I'm no fan of the WI government right now. Nor am I happy that most other states are funnelling crucial funds away from public education and slapping the students (hence their parents) with the tab. And sure, it would be nice if the school (hence the state, hence the taxpayers) picked up the tab for extracurriculars. But, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask the families to pay for those activites that lay outside the "learning" portion of the school day; activities that are optional and therefore their choice.

    As for the rest of your rant about taxes and the middle-class burden, I agree with you 100%.

    So my advice to you is GOTV!!!

    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

    by FactsPrevail on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 07:59:09 PM PDT

  •  Huh (0+ / 0-)

    This whole tax-dodging the rich are doing is going to bite them back. Maybe, just maybe they'll have sewage back up in their basement and have to clean it themselves. Of course, plumbers are well paid out here.

    I don't remember food being free at school, that's for sure. I like the idea of having payments made based on a family's income. If the rich were to fall and hit bottom, at least they'd have some understanding. Decency is another thing, though. Can't always trust that.

    I can remember when my mind got warped by uncertainty. I was making some gains in cooking for myself, maybe more than I realize, but I was smoking the reefer, maybe someone grew it under poisonous light, maybe it was pcp laced, don't know, but I was getting into an interracial relationship and my cousin said at Christmas: "When you put black hens and white hens together, they tend not to get along."

    That was quite possibly the end of my childhood. Lockdown for a month in a hospital.

    And what did school teach me about drugs? They couldn't, because the funds intended for intervention were used instead to pay taxes that the rich no longer tend to. Bastards.

  •  When I worked in schools, in the 80's and 90's, (0+ / 0-)

    funding was an up and down thing then too.  I have been in budget meetings at the school, saw teachers and principals making difficult and sometimes gut renching decisions about how to allocate the funds we had.  I saw us lose good teachers, and good assistants because the money wasn't there.  One year, we had to ask parents to send in toilet paper because budget didn't have enough money in it for that.  Other years, we were blessed with abundunce. It all comes down to politics.  If the polititions in control liked public education, money flowed and we bought new books and got extra supplies to cover kids who didn't have the money and with us being an inner city school with 85% free or reduced meals, we had plenty who needed help.  I also saw teachers buy supplies with their own money.  I myself, getting paid a mere $8,000 a year at the 10 year mark, bought copy paper so we could make worksheets for the special ed children.  Our paper and our money had run out.  One of the special ed teachers had stock in a local bank, he went to the bank and they let him run copies there for free.  We had a limit at the school because of the cost of ink and toner.  We had no money for books, and made up our own work for the kids.  As far as funding for the arts and athletics, at our school, if the budget got cut, the first to go was art and music teachers followed by P.E.  I believe it is still the same today.

  •  As someone (0+ / 0-)

    As someone who was probably more of the "privileged" ilk, I cannot imagine inner city schooling, especially inner city in 70s/80s. Even 90s, our school here is no comparison. We took a lot for granted, even if there was some spending on our own part. And with the people we've met, to know someone like them is going through inner city schooling from square one, is like taking heart of the matter like you would a wet rag. Just pours out. I'd quickly move to the subject of "Why do we desensitize those kids and our own with dehumanizing horror movies?" The media has everyone screwed. At least that's how I figure for now. Ideas come and go. There is a lot out there that isn't right though, that's for sure, and forget "maybe" being swayed. They are working extra hard these days. For instance, FAIL videos. Do we really need this? Is it really funny? I think the better question is "What was life like without it? Better? Yes." And yet, I continue to watch practically the same person hit his balls with a bike or skateboard. I think people in their good sense back in the day would be appalled by today's media.

  •  Well we have hear about MI and WI and CA--- (0+ / 0-)

    So here we go a short primer on how we do this in NY

    I never tire of bitching about how we do things in NY!!!!

    But--for once--we might not be the total bad guys here.

    Disclaimer--I went to HS and college in New Jersey where we did not pay (as far as I know)  for sports altho pretty sure Yearbooks have NEVER been given out free.  

    But--here in  NY we vote on school budgets.  To fund the schools.  IF we FAIL to pass a budget as put to the vote--and I think we get two chances on this--we will be FORCED to go to a CONTINGENCY BUDGET.  This means --among other things--that SIGNS will appear on the side of the road to SHOW you where the kids will have to WALK FROM--the bus would have to go PAST the homes they now serve and then pick UP the outliers and come BACK to the school.  Does this make SENSE?  Certainly NOT saving on gas if you have to do the SAME ROUTE just--NOT pick up the kids!  I forget what the distance is but there will be several sets of distance markers.  To me and most other people this is just a scare tactic and intimidation.

    To tell people that their 4 year old will have to WALK along a major highway in the DARK in FEET of snow with NO sidewalks in what could be 40 *BELOW weather--well  to ME that is intimidating.

    Then  there are the "cuts"  they would make--and one huge one is--FOOTBALL.  I guess they probably cut the "other"  sports but=THIS one--well that REALLY gets attention  from "Certain Elements"  of the population.

    Moving on we get to education cuts---student aides;  supplies--as if we were not already BUYING the supplies---and the like.

    This goes on and on and in the end--the State has rules that will apply and you will be FORCED to adopt the Budget AS WRITTEN so ---resistance really IS futile.  Ever wonder HOW these budgets get rammed thru?  Yep this IS how.

    Well anyways---To be a 7 year old "Cheer Leader"  (really???)   You will pay I believe $75.00.  Don't know what else you might have to buy for this activity or if you get a uniform etc--we opted to NOT do this.  Other sports thru the school I do not believe we were asked to pay for---altho my youngest graduated 8 years ago we are now embarking on the same journey with our grand daughter so things might have changed.

    We are being asked to bring in a bunch of "supplies""---the teachers have a $200 allowance PER YEAR for class room items.  So we are supplying ;;;

    Heavy plastic folders
    4 Marble notebooks
    Looseleaf paper
    Glue sticks
    24 pencils and bar type erasers
    Box of 24 crayons
    Colored pencils
    Crayon box of a particular size
    Two clean old socks (yes--I kid you not!)
    4 dry erase markers
    Yellow highlighter
    Binder with photo pocket
    Clipboard with "Low profile clip"
    This is for THIRD GRADE--and is a preliminary list!

    The rest of the list is only available on line which means that kids with no access to the Net will not be equipped and their parents will not be able to take advantage of the pre-school sales.

    I believe that the other part of the list is the "For the classroom"  part and is tissues soap wipes  hand sanitizer spare clothing and the like.

    (Some schools are insisting that you must provide TWO outfits--complete outfits!!!--one for a BOY and one for a GIRL--in specific SIZES for the--school--to hold onto.  NOT for your child if they have an issue--but for ANY kid.  These must be NEW outfits! For parents that might be struggling to provide clothing for their OWN kid--this one is over the top)

    For Band here--the school has contracts with very spendy instrument rental/purchase companies.  And they have some instruments to lend.  We donated several trumpets and guitars to the program.  I DO wonder tho if the communities could do an INSTRUMENT DRIVE to find and collect those old flutes and trumpets and guitars hiding in the back rooms and attics of people--if they were not suitable for band use have some eBay savvy person sell them and use the money for the program.  It does NOT cost anything to participate in Band altho I don't know about competitions or the like.  

    You don't pay for chorus etc either.  

    In our district--the janitors earn more than the teachers. Most of whom are--shocker--female.  

    The Supt makes about 5 times what the teachers make---and he or she is just the Complaint Department. Why is this???

    Do I LIKE cutting that tax check?  No.  IT takes up a large part of our income and we will be forced to move when we retire as this will be no longer feasible.  

    Do I value what the school DOES???  Yes very much.    We have little to no "industry"  here and farmers have a hard enough time of it as it is.  So where ELSE is the money going to COME FROM?  But this also means that many families have to have both parents working;  long commutes to actual jobs;  two cars; huge gasoline bills;  child care; clothing;=partly to HAVE that income to PAY for these things.

    SoMr Misunderstood OP=I GET what you are saying.  The things your parents got for FREE for YOU are no longer FREE.  And you don't LIKE it.  But I think that I could find that $39 damn dollars you are whining about for your kids EDUCATION in my couch cushions.  

    Not for the football tho.

    For that one--you are on your own

    AS it should be until ALL American schools have ALL educational funding FULLY FUNDED

  •  Oh and a short--- (0+ / 0-)

    Short request---

    If you see school supplies on sale (right about--now!!!!)  if you can afford to--pick some up and DONATE them to your school.  If your school is well off---donate to one that is not.  

    For an "investment"  of $2.50 you can buy 10 boxes of crayons or glue sticks or the like---

  •  WHAT WHINING!!! (0+ / 0-)

    I pay four times that in school taxes on my property and I have NO KIDS!! Do yourself a favor, have your kid quit football, save hundreds of dollars and his early onset dementia from noggin' knocks. Or STAND AND DELIVER!

  •  Those (0+ / 0-)

    are all extracurricular fees, except for the text book. Sports are NOT part of academia and should never be included in the general costs of running a public school. Primary and High School is about education, not sports, and that's what WI law pretty much adheres to.. Even though sports does have its place to bring the whole community together as a whole, not everyone cares one whit about it as there are better things to do in life while growing up. It's not fair to everyone within the school's district to have to pony up to bring sports into the "free tuition fold", and they shouldn't be forced to. If you want your child wants to play sports, tough, pay the extra fees, don't expect me to pay as well.

  •  Children, our most disposable resource... (0+ / 0-)

    and our future.

    The law mandates it be provided, but there is no way to penalize the legislature for failing to do so.

    And far too many people without children fail to see the benefits to them of educating other people's children--though one would think the costs involved in failing to educate would be benefit enough. (Lower crime rates, lower public assistance costs, etc.) The reasons the provision exists in the first place.

    Note that they can't even manage "as nearly uniform as practicable." ("Practicable" being a weasel-word which they can comfortably redefine as desired.)

    I'm beginning to think that many, wealthy or not, truly don't care about anyone including themselves.

    Like any hard-core gamers, they see only the game they are playing--oh, the perks are nice, but they are only score-keeping marks.

    Since the game of high finance only cares about the score within the game, and hard-core gamers seldom think outside what matters to their score, nowhere in the game is there a place for valuing intangibles like life & death and misery.

  •  Athletic Fees (0+ / 0-)

    Your point is well taken, BUT;  Most of the fees you listed are "extra curricular" fees and part of cuts districts have to make when the budgets are slashed.  The "curricular" fees are minimal.  Wait until he's a senior and you have senior pictures, graduation fees, cap and gown purchase, class rings, etc.!  The senior year is defninitly the most expensive after having 2 kids graduate in the last 10 years.  But then there's college!  Don't even get me started!!

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