I wondered what was up when the neighbor kids came by doing a government school fund raiser but couldn’t explain what the money was for. In this funny NYTimes op-ed Karen Karbo makes it all clear:
…in these belt-tightening times, selling stuff doesn’t just raise money for new uniforms for the marching band â€” it also keeps the computer lab up and running and the heat on in the winter. To blow off the fund-raiser is tantamount to being anti-education.
Karbo argues that the fix for this pathetic situation is, you guessed it, more government:
Rather than directing our energy toward lobbying local and federal governments to cure the growing and chronic problem of inadequate school budgets, we’re busy applying Band-Aids in the form of selling magazines and junk food. As long as we race around headless chicken-style making up each year’s shortfall, budgets will continue to shrink and more students will find themselves having no idea why they’re being sent door to door, or cubicle to cubicle, like a character out of Dickens.
I don’t know about the rest of the country but here in St. Louis I know that the worst of the government schools (the inner city schools) spend two to three times per student what private and religious schools do. (The ratio of something like 10 administrators to 1 in the comparably sized parochial system may have something to with this). I’m no prophet but I’m going to guess that if Karbo and friends succeed in their lobbying efforts so that government schools are spending four to five times per student they will still need to do fundraisers. I suggest that Ms. Karbo look a bit deeper into the problem.