Tuesday 2 June 2009

The insanity of public school "voluntary" contributions

From the Silly today:

A NORTH SHORE public high school is pressing parents to make "voluntary" contributions of up to $700 a year, more than double the rate charged by most schools, to make up for a "shortfall in government funding".

The Mosman High School P&C has written to parents urging them to pay an average of $400 for subject contributions in addition to the voluntary general contribution of up to $254 for year 12 students.
I have no issue with a state school tapping parents for extra cash, particularly in Mosman. I know people over there that have sent their kids to the local public schools, which have a good name, and they have incomes in the multiples of hundreds of thousands. They spend more than $700 per year on ski lessons for their kids.

Hell, I spend more than that each year on tennis lessons for junior. And more again on guitar lessons. Why would I even blink for a second at putting that amount, or more, into the school if I thought it would do some good?

(And I will hopefully spend that amount on skiing for Junior this year, snow permitting).

My biggest complaint with some of these public schools is how much they underestimate the willingness of parents to cough up extra cash for worthwhile educational causes. Because if the school does not do a good job, I am going to be on the hook for a lot more than $700 over the next few years for sending him to a private school. Hell, I'd happily pay $1,000 a year.

And I'd prefer to pay it directly, out of my pocket, rather than having it removed by the taxman, shuffled through the bureaucracy, and having about $850 pop out the other end, which would immediately fall into the hands of the head office educational bureaucrats, who would spend $800 of it on new leather lounges and give 50 bucks to the school and tell them that they can only spend it on breathalyser kits and mobility ramps.

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