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The schools and Fund Raisers REALLY upsetting

Original post made by Patriot Liberal, Downtown, on Sep 18, 2009

O.K. I just picked up my child from elementary school with a BUNDLE of "fund raiser" catalogues!

First off we pay a LOT of our hard earned cash in Federal and State Taxes that go to frivolous wars I may add, as well as Massive Government Waste as always.

Then the school district tries to further TAX everyone because CA and the district are cash strapped.

Then there are several forms of fund raisers prior to the start of school. At registration the school asks for MORE money.

And they just keep asking! There are a LOT of folks that have lost more than 2/3 of their retirement nest egg. Many people are unemployed or under employed, or will loose their jobs.

NOW the Elementary School has an ASSEBMBLY and brings in a catalogue company to fire up and recruit child salesman. This type of program usually gives little back to the schools compared to their profit. These catalogues have $50.00 adult jewelry, luggage and the like!!! The majority of this stuff is manufactured OVER Seas and cheaply! What a great business model, child labor in the name of "school fundraising"..These kids are PREASSURED and coerced with little PRIZEZ to go out and sell a LOT of this JUNK!

My child was ALL fired up as if she had been BRAIN WASHED with ALL these BENEFITS of selling this stuff. All I heard all the way home was "You do want me to have fun at school don't you" "We really need to sell this stuff and raise money for the school" etc.

News Flash:
people DON'T have the money to spend on this junk and we have DONATED to the schools until we are ALL blue in the face!

AND what about the CLASS ROOM TIME missed to go to the child labor seminar??

People were ALL riled up about the President talking for 15 minutes, taking away from tax time.

What are YOUR thoughts?

Comments (55)

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Posted by poster boy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2009 at 3:39 pm

I agree. This was never a problem before prop 13 when there was an actual revenue source for our local schools instead of turning them into defacto franchise locations for crap merchants...but you know, they just wasted all that money on stupid things like teacher raises and car allowances, so sure, let's make our kids sell junk instead and nickel-and-dime parents at registration.

This doesn't even include having 5 year old kids sell coupon books for BUSC soccer so the older kids can pay for their upgraded soccer fields. (Not even going there.)


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Sep 18, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Patriot,

Pretty much a waste of time if you ask me and if they put as much effort into teaching as they do into peddling goods we would all be better off. Children are very impressionable at that young age and it is easy for someone to whip them into a frenzy. The kids are there to learn and the teachers are there to teach.......period.


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Posted by Patriot Liberal
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 18, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Yes,

AND in our household we actually teach about saving up for thinks, banking and spending wisely. We also believe in buying US made product as best w can. This stuff in these catalogs are made in countries overseas that use child labor and now unscrupulous companies are recruiting our children to sell the "crap" as you said.

I don't mind the occasional candy bar fund raiser, but this stuff is not $4.00

How do we teach our kids about saving and spending wisely when we WASTE $9.00 on 75 cents worth of cookie dough??

The friends and relative are pretty burnt out on this fundraising stuff. How do you say no to a kid? When one has 10 or more kids 10 times a years trying to sell them JUNK, it is just plain annoying!


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Posted by Patriot Liberal
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 18, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Bob,

Well said! This is just TOO much and I TOTALLY resent the school taking my child out of class for an unannounced sales meeting!

The guys who put on the sales meeting had all kinds of nice tricks, like pulling what looked like 100 dollar bills out of his pockets!

My kid was enamoured with the idea of traipsing allover gods creation selling this CRAP!

I have had ENOUGH!

What gives the school this right???


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Posted by Special place
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 18, 2009 at 4:37 pm

I taught my kids from 1st grade on: they can bring it home and put it in the trash or they can say "No thank you" at school.

If I want to help out, I'd rather donate my $10 and have 100% of it go to the school rather than purchase $20 worth of crap and have $1 go to the school.

The schools need to stop raising additional funds this way.

THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO WIN ARE THESE COMPANIES who are in business to sell crap.


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Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Funny, I remember this same assembly thirty years ago at Stone Valley Middle school....we sold magazines, got prizes, same story. The middle schools in Pleasanton have been doing this for years as well.

It is sad that the schools have to take the time to raise money to keep the programs they have worked so hard to create. Seeing that the state decided to cut funding to education, the community said no way, where do you think the money will come from? $17.5 million was cut from PUSD's budget. Teachers are budgeted $12 per student for photo copies, supplies and materials for the whole school year.

More cuts will be coming this school year, and next year as well. It is not a threat, or mismanagement of finances that people wanted to blame it on. This is the reality of public schools in California.

Parents want the same quality program, yet this can not happen with the drastic cuts made. I agree it is sad, especially to hear you say what gives the schools the right? I say thank you to the schools for caring enough to go through the pain of running a fundraiser so our children won't continue to suffer.

How can we expect to have it both ways?


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Posted by Bossk
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Special Place,

I completely agree. I would rather give the school the money than have the kids be sugar merchants.

Let's properly fund the schools and have the kids spend more time focused on math and science.

Poster Boy - Tell me more about this prop 13 and how it affects school funding.


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Posted by michelle
a resident of Amador Estates
on Sep 18, 2009 at 5:17 pm

What do you expect from government schools...balanced budgets?!!! HA!

What government program is balanced?

When we get government obamacare, we'll all be peddling magazines and trinkets to pay off the obamacare debt, since much higher taxes will not come close to paying the obamacare bill.

Our only hope is smaller government, low taxes, strong national defense. Guess what party I'm switching to? I voted for Obama and will never vote liberal again. NEVER.


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Posted by Julia
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 18, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Bossk,

Prop 13 was a bill or referendum which limited the amount of money and the rate of increase you were assessed annually on your property taxes. It was passed by a huge amount of the voters and for good reason. I remember when I was a teenager and my parents saying they were considering moving out of state because their property taxes were increasing so much each year. If it were ever to be repealed and that would be an impossibility then the value of homes in California would really drop because few would be able to pay the level of property taxes assessed because it would be so high and home prices would drop tremendously. People who cite prop 13 also forget that the California Teachers Union stuck a deal with the state which tied school funding to the percent of growth in property taxes annually. If you ever want California to really turn into death valley then repeal 13 but it would never happen. What the liberals above alway forget to tell you is that a significant portion of tax revenue came from big business which we had a ton of until they chased it away. 3 GM plants, 3 Ford plants, Chrysler, Lockheed, FMC, Pacific State Steel, California Can, Fleming Foods, General Dynamics, Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, etc. all chased from the state and now NUMMI with its 50,000 associated jobs is going away. Sounds like a problem to me.


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Posted by Patriot Liberal
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 18, 2009 at 6:10 pm

O.K. I reviewed the catalogue web site in detail.

This is one a many National "Fundraising" Corporation. It IS a MULTI BILLION dollar Industry!

Although most of the products a really cheap off shore trinkets that have a 600% markup, they DO put HUGE markers on a FEW items saying made In The USA.

The business model is beyond Genius! Off shore Junk with 600% mark up, Internet based inventory ordering, potentially 500-1000 very willing brain washed little kids as salesmen PER school ALL across the Nation, you get the picture!

The school gets a pittance as a"fundraising reward" and the student get a chance to EARN BONUS gifts such as a Hershey's Chocolate shaped calculator, complete with a chocolate smell, for selling JUSY $3-500.00 worth of product. So, I would say that would cost about 10 cents an hour per child for sales reps.

Not to mention that the guy who did the sales rep seminar at the Elementary school could Barely Speak English. I saw him after school as he was leaving. My daughter said :oh look, that's the "MONEY man"

"He showed up 100 dollar bills coming out of all his pockets. he said that we REALLY NEEDED to make a BIG effort to sell this GREAT stuff, to help the school."

So here I sit, totally MIND BLOWN and VERY upset with the whole system!

We have local businesses going DOWN and our kids are hawking crap made overseas, and paying some guy with an I-9 visa's wages.

This is NOT to Cool in my book.

How about a trsaditional bake sale or carnival and 100% of the money goes directly to the students education or field trips etc?

How about the Gov stop throwing our tax dollars out the window to Halliburton and many other corrupt entities and we support out children's future??

Signed,

Patriot Radical Liberals Against Child Labor and Corruption.







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Posted by Patriot Liberal
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 18, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Oh and the cookie dough is now FOURTEEN DOLLARS!


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Posted by Patriot Liberal
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Special Place,

Well said! This is our first and in first grade so we're even more shocked than we were for the last 10 years when the neighborhood kids came knocking.

And I want to add that this is NOT door to door, its "REALLY SIMPLE" marketing via E-Mail.. Also, there is a BONUS BONUS for turning in SEVEN cards with names and complete contact information for "out of town" relatives.

This is Pimping and Pandering to and of our children IMO.


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Posted by Patriot Liberal
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 18, 2009 at 6:22 pm

michelle,

Would you be willing to sta on topic here?

Thank you in advance if so.

P.S.

I never discussed voting or how I voted!


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Posted by Einstein
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Sep 18, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Einstein is a registered user.

If we could work as hard at developing a nice business environment and tax base and thereby revenue as we do shaking down hardworking taxpayers we would not have to worry about these little sales at schools. We need to retake our government and soon!!!!!!!!!!!


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Posted by My property taxes keep going down
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2009 at 9:16 pm

I don't know about the rest of you, but I got a decrease in my property taxes this year. I think we are on to something here. I think every one's property taxes should keep going down by a certain amount every year. I don't see why the government has any right to my tax money. If they're so smart, why don't they pay for it themselves?


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Sep 18, 2009 at 11:56 pm

Ok, these companies are crap, but nobody here had these same companies in your schools. Our high school sold magazines to pay for the prom - and as prizes we got beer (I mean milk) mugs.

yes, the stuff comes home - we throw it away (now into our recycling bin) Our kids don't say a word (and believe me, if anyone could be brainwashed, its a particular child of mine).

Yes, the kids shouldn't be taken out of class for such stuff, but its also provides an opportunity for the parents to teach their children a lesson.


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Posted by Patriot Liberal
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 19, 2009 at 9:45 am

Mee Too,

Yes, we had a really good learning session here and my kid Totally GOT IT after we showed her our TAX RETURNS!

Six years old and she gets it! Then we has a detailed discussion about the War!

She said "why don't these countries sit down and talk" "why don't they use I messages"

"If I totally get it and the adults don't, we should have a six year olds runny all the Countries"


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 19, 2009 at 10:01 am

The best fund raiser I never attended was the "Stay Home Fund Raiser" for a charity. No stressing to find a gown, rent a tux, attend a long dinner full of gut wrenching speeches. We sent all the money we would have spent on that directly to the charity and spent a wonderfully relaxing night at home. Perhaps each school could consider doing something similar . . . less stress on parents/staff who spend volunteer hours organizing, looking for donations from businesses to auction, etc. Parents, neighbors, and local businesses all could contribute on one day. I think that could be done easily enough without using children.


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Posted by Patriot Liberal
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 19, 2009 at 11:40 am

Kathleen,

IF we are to support "fund raisers" at all, rather than demand more accountability from the Fed-State and Local Gov, here are my suggestions:

All of which are cost effective, educational and 100% proceeds would go DIRECTLY to the program of the PARENTS CHOICE:

Small Business 101 for the kids!

A)Car Wash

B)Theatre, play, music with home baked goodies at intermission

C)Bake sale-kids HELP with ALL the preparation

D)Pet wash and walking at the schools

* let's NOT forget the childhood obesity and Diabetes either!! NO NEED FOR RAW WHITE SUGAR!


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Posted by no kids
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2009 at 11:42 am

This fundraising stuff stinks. I have no kids, I pay for yours via taxes, and then I have my peace and quiet ruined by incessant pounding on my door from kids I do not know wanting to sell me something that I do not want. If you let your child participate just limit them to people they KNOW, people who WANT TO buy that junk. I don't and I don't want one more kid knocking at my door. Those who have children in school should just pay what is needed or do without it. Those of us who have none are tired of the guilt trips and demands for money. No, I do not want girl scout cookies either.


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Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 19, 2009 at 12:15 pm

"no kids",
That's a lot of angst you're holding on to. Maybe you could just hang a "No Soliciting" sign by your front door to keep all those kids from bothering you.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 19, 2009 at 1:03 pm

PL, My suggestion was cost effective and proceeds would go directly to a parent's choice, by school, and it keeps education in the classroom. I'm not in favor of using students to raise money (even if you can feign some educational purpose), but we never send a child away empty handed if they make it to our door step. I've been asking for accountability at all levels for a long time.


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Posted by Patriot Liberal
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 19, 2009 at 1:21 pm

I hear you Kathleen,

We have never been able to send kids away empty handed either, but I was disconnected to what was going on behind the scenes until our child hit 1st grade recently.

Plus as I said, we are a 28% plus tax bracket, like most have lost a TON in retirement, the job isn't paying raises much less stable.

You get the picture I know.

Thanks..


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2009 at 6:31 pm

My child studied hard for a test and it turns out they cancelled the test because of an asssembly! And the assembly was all about getting the kids to sell and be a part of a "fundraiser."

This is outrageous, does the PTA really think that I will let my child go door to door to sell this stuff, or that I will bother friends and family who are not necessarily in a position to buy unnecessary items?

So when will the school make up the hour my child lost due to this assembly? No test, no class. This is unbelievable, and I am surprised the school and the PTA think of this very unwise way of doing things. Next year, no more donations to the PTA, they obviously do not know when to stop.


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Posted by teacher
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2009 at 7:58 pm

If your school did have a fund raising assembly during class time, this is against district policy. We have been told that no assembly can be held for this type of activity. They do however talk up the fund raiser at lunchtime but it is never suppose to be during instruction time. I would check with the District Office and file a complaint.
Also, as a teacher I agree parents are asked to write too many checks, something needs to be done and it needs to be consistent throughout the district.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Julie is a registered user.

This is partly why I didn't get all the anger regarding the president talking to the kids for 15-20 minutes - I made the point that unless parents are at school ALL day, they have no idea what information the kids are or are not hearing! At least the president's speech was posted online beforehand.

I can remember assemblies during which the kids got all pumped up regarding prizes they could earn if they sold the fundraising CRAP. My poor kids would come home wanting that Wii or super cool bike when I knew darn well that they'd NEVER come close to earning them since 1) I wouldn't let them go door to door to strangers; and 2) We would be unwilling to bring the forms to work and harass colleagues. It's very manipulative and I'm so glad I don't have to deal with it anymore.


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Posted by Patriot Liberal
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 19, 2009 at 10:35 pm

I hear you loud and clear Julie.

It is the worst when a colleague comes by with that envelope and order form!

Its like 6 degree's of separation, EVERYONE has family and friends who have family and friends who have family and friends.

And it is SO redundant! All I can think of personally is the TRILLIONS the Government Wastes (Dem or Repub)and our schools are under ALWAYS under funded!


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 20, 2009 at 8:25 am

"If your school did have a fund raising assembly during class time, this is against district policy. We have been told that no assembly can be held for this type of activity. They do however talk up the fund raiser at lunchtime but it is never suppose to be during instruction time. I would check with the District Office and file a complaint."

If it is against district policy (and it should be), why do schools do it? The fundraiser assembly took place during class, the kids missed the whole period, had to cancel the test they studied for, and were told about all kinds of cool prizes they could win. I would hate to be the one to call the district to complain... come on, someone at the district already knows, board members have kids in the schools, if it is a violation of district policy, my guess is they have the blessing of the district to do so.

My child already knows where we stand on this: no door to door sales, no bothering family or friends, the fundraiser is nonsense and the school is manipulating families through their kids. But the fact that my child studied for a test that was cancelled for this fundraising nonsense makes me really mad, and I will not donate to the PTA anymore. They are out of control.


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Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 20, 2009 at 9:06 am

Concerned Parent,
The PUSD policy on fundraising makes it pretty clear that "Such activities shall be conducted in a non-coercive manner that in no way embarrasses students, jeopardizes their safety; or disrupts the learning process in their classrooms."

I'm not sure why you wouldn't feel comfortable contacting, at a minimum, the school Principal to confirm the assembly and question why it was held during class time, especially with a test scheduled. You'd contact the Principal, or PUSD, if you were concerned about the safety of your child, right? Then why not about your concerns regarding the disruption of classroom time?

Fundraising Policy: Web Link






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Posted by Get Educated
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 20, 2009 at 9:35 am

I am so surprise at the shock and outrage over school fund-raisers, many which have been going on every Fall at the schools for the past years. Do you know what they are using the money for?

People did have an option to do the "stay at home" fund-raiser, it was all summer long sponsored by PPIE and PSEE. They even had an online auction with really amazing items for sale.

$17.5 million was cut from PUSD's budget. There are less people doing the same amount of work, with considerably less money. Do you think the teachers now want the interruption and responsibility of having to fund-raise in order to pay for graphics orders and classroom supplies? How is it that you expect them to run business as usual? Why do you think they would still work tirelessly to raise money? They are striving to keep the quality of our schools where parents in this town expect them to be.

How sad that the schools and PTA volunteers have to do this, but how fortunate we are to be able to still support what we value to be important. These fund-raisers are the same every year, instead of anger and blame, find out what it is paying for, go to a PTA meeting, see first hand what the cuts are doing to our schools.


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Posted by Pariot Liberal
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 20, 2009 at 9:51 am


Concerned Parent,

"If it is against district policy (and it should be), why do schools do it? The fundraiser assembly took place during class, the kids missed the whole period, had to cancel the test they studied for, and were told about all kinds of cool prizes they could win. I would hate to be the one to call the district to complain... come on, someone at the district already knows, board members have kids in the schools, if it is a violation of district policy, my guess is they have the blessing of the district to do so."

>> Yes, I agree and I for one would like to know if this specific National Company has carte Blanche access to all PUSD school for this "fundraiser"?


"My child already knows where we stand on this: no door to door sales, no bothering family or friends, the fundraiser is nonsense and the school is manipulating families through their kids. But the fact that my child studied for a test that was cancelled for this fundraising nonsense makes me really mad, and I will not donate to the PTA anymore. They are out of control."

>> This "fundraiser" is done ON-LINE for the most part as I understand? The LAST thing I want is my SIX year old conducting an on-line business. Another thing that really irks me is that they offer a BONUS for filling out cards with SEVEN out of Town relatives CONTACT information. What a SCAM!~

Billie,

"The PUSD policy on fundraising makes it pretty clear that "Such activities shall be conducted in a non-coercive manner that in no way embarrasses students, jeopardizes their safety; or disrupts the learning process in their classrooms."


>> Non Coercive? When they have a guy doing all kinds of fancy tricks with dollar bills and pumping up the kids about the prizes, this is hardly NON Coercive. And my child was very animate in saying "daddy, if we don't do this, school will be boring and we will have no fun"... Brain Washing in a very REAL sense!

And we were hit up via e-mail and other means ALL summer. Then at registration we were hit up again. Then when school started we continue to be hit up. AAARG!


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Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 20, 2009 at 10:34 am

Patriot Liberal,
I'm not disagreeing. "Teacher" had posted that it was against District policy to disrupt class time. I like to do my own research on an issue to find the source of information (rather than just take as gospel information posted on a forum), so I found the PUSD policy on fundraising and posted it so others could read the actual policy.

As I said in my earlier post, I'm questioning why Concerned Parent feels so uncomfortable about contacting the District, or at a minimum, the Principal of the school to confirm the timing of the assembly. If, in fact, the fundraising assembly was given during classtime, I would think Concerned parent would want to discuss the policy and class room disruption.






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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 20, 2009 at 10:36 am

Julie is a registered user.

Get Educated, I think for me the issue is how the kids are manipulated into wanting the prizes. The fundraiser *company* has much to gain if we all buy their crap so they dangle cheap prizes in front of the kids to encourage them to "hustle" their "goods". They price the products at TWICE what they're worth so that they can give that 50% back to the schools. Example: I saw a peach cobbler kit for $8 at the Harvest Festival. Exact same product sold in Innisbrook catalog for $15.

Think about it - if I buy $50 worth of crap the school gets only $25. I'd rather just write a check for the $50 to the school. However, because they got the kids ramped up about the stupid prizes, the emphasis is on competition and BUYING the crap rather than DONATING to the school. Amazingly, I got my kids to understand (when the were still in elementary school) that I could buy them that "Level 3 Prize Ball" on my own and donate without doing the fundraiser. After the first year or two, they were fine with that. My 80 year old mother has figured it out. One time she spent like $80 on some fundraiser and could SEE that my daughter was only getting credited $30 or so toward her trip. She said next time she'd just write a check for the $80. Exactly!


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Posted by Patriot Liberal
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 20, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Billie,

You read me wrong- I appreciated your post and link greatly.


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Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 20, 2009 at 1:48 pm

OOPS, Sorry!! :0)

I gotta say, I'm really struggling with why, on many of the school threads, parents post about their reluctance to address issues directly with the teacher, the school, or the PUSD. Some have cited a fear of retaliation. I have to wonder, why? And from whom? Have there really been acts of retaliation against a parent or child when a parent expresses their concern about a situation?

If yes, then I really have to question how good our school system really is, and wonder why that abuse hasn't been reported higher up the educational ladder.

If no, then what possible reason could there be for not investigating and trying to resolve a situation that has impacted class room time? And what does that teach our kids?

Short story: I have a granddaughter who frequently amazes me. She had a teacher in middle school (Livermore) who, when my granddaughter took her planner up to be signed (an agreement between her parents and the teacher to track homework), not only refused to sign the planner, she said something derogatory to my granddaughter and threw the planner at her. My granddaughter asked permission to leave the classroom and go to the office. The teacher refused. My granddaughter calmly (based on the school's investigation afterward) told the teacher that she no longer felt safe in that classroom and was going to the office. Which she did, and reported in to the school's Principal. Long story short, my granddaughter was transferred to another teacher for that class, her old class ended up with a long-term substitute, and the planner-throwing teacher took early retirement. It turns out that this particular teacher had a history of incidents in the classroom. I have to wonder how many parents did not confront issues with this teacher before my granddaughter was hit, literally, with the problem.

Maybe not quite the same thing as a fundraising assembly in the middle of class time, but I think it does show that you can resolve issues if you're willing to address them head-on.


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Posted by !
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 20, 2009 at 2:02 pm

As I read all of these posts, I am convinced that our decision to dig deeper into our savings to send our child to a private school nearby was one of our best. Yes, it is expensive. Yes, we sacrifice and do not go to restaurants much or go on expensive vacations. But our child is worth it. If we were not able to choose private school, we would home school. Anything we could do to avoid government school, we would do.

Seriously consider these options if you haven't already.


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 20, 2009 at 3:01 pm

"Have there really been acts of retaliation against a parent or child when a parent expresses their concern about a situation?"

Yes, but in a very smart way, hard to prove but it is there. I will not risk having my child be in an akward/bad situation just because I complain to the district - again, some of the board members have kids in school, so they know what goes on. Is the district aware of this violation of policy? In my opinion, yes.

I agree with Julie about donating straight to the school, which most parents do in the beginning of the school year. I don't even mind fundraisers, and I have been a part of many. What I don't like is the disruption of class time, especially when a test was supposed to happen, and using our kids to do this "fundraiser," promising prizes - all during class time!


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 20, 2009 at 3:03 pm

"As I read all of these posts, I am convinced that our decision to dig deeper into our savings to send our child to a private school nearby was one of our best. Yes, it is expensive. Yes, we sacrifice and do not go to restaurants much or go on expensive vacations. But our child is worth it. If we were not able to choose private school, we would home school. Anything we could do to avoid government school, we would do."

I went to private schools growing up. There are just as many fundraisers there as in the public schools.


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 20, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Billie:

I address issues, if they come up, that affect my child only. But when it is an issue that affects an entire school (and probably more than one school), and most parents seem okay with it, and board members seem okay with it (they have kids in the schools and they allow this stuff to happen), and the principal is okay with it, and the teachers are okay with it (why would a teacher cancel a test for an assembly?) - then no, I will not be the one to complain. Chances are, it will go in one ear and out the other, my child will be somehow made to see the error of the parents' way for going "against the district/school" and it is not worth it.

Am I mad? Yes. Will I do something about it? No, unless of course, only my child is taken out of class to be told about a fundraiser.


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Posted by toni
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Sep 20, 2009 at 5:26 pm

The PTA's do not sponsor the "Magazine Sales" at HPMS. Gift Wrap is usally done at elementary and the other two middle schools are non-PTA schools, and their parent clubs have only one agenda--Fundraising. That is not the PTA's objective.

Prop. 13 elemenated funding that went to the schools to support programs. Thus, music/arts, athletics (yes, before boosters!), classroom equipment, etc. the list is extensive have subsequently been affected in one capacity or another. Your parent organizations do their best, however it is YOUR LEGISLATORS that need to be held accountable not those that fight to support your classrooms and schools. Fundraising is difficult in the best of economies, now it is even more of a challenge.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 20, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Julie is a registered user.

I also went to private school growing up as my parents wished to avoid having me bussed across town. I can tell you from personal experience that "private" also does not mean or guarantee "quality". I had some extremely horrifying experiences with teachers.


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2009 at 5:51 am

At least you can READ the magazine!


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Posted by Ken in South Pleasanton
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 21, 2009 at 8:29 am

This seems like a great opportunity to teach our children about proper recycling of paper goods.


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2009 at 9:03 am

It is the attitude of people like Toni that makes parents like myself be skeptical about complaining.

Yes, there is a budget crisis, but for the school to allow the interruption of class time to promote a fundraiser is simply wrong, and according to a post above, it violates district policy.

My guess is that the reply given by Toni would be similar to that given by the district should I complain.

So much emphasis is given to not taken your child out of school because we lose ADA, yet the schools think nothing of interrupting class time... perhaps the state should penalize the schools, financially, when the instructional minutes are not used for instruction.


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Posted by Love the Cookies
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2009 at 9:28 am

Those who have a concern about the fundraisers should contact the district office and get answers to their questions. Hiding behind the 'concern' of retaliation is not an excuse for not contacting the district, if you feel that strongly about this issue (or any other).

I have followedso many posts on here, over the past several months – so many angry people. Anger at so many issues. Come on now – step back from the computer – pick up your phone and make a call, set up an appointment with the district and ask your questions.

I am concerned too……..concerned that parents have decided that they can post up on a web site all their gripes – and someone else will fix it. Step up to the plate.




BTW – I don't believe the fundraisers are so evil. Does a business make money on it – yep. Do the schools make money on it – yep. Can fundraisers create 'teachable' moments (communication skills, math skills, social interaction, economy, self esteem, …..) – yep


Oh, and I love the cookies! ;-)


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Posted by Lucky Guy
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Sep 21, 2009 at 9:30 am

The best Cut I see coming will be getting rid of the Ole' Supertendant who is getting out before the "other shoe drops". Gutless as well. Now we need to get rid of the Board members that won't mandate instruction time is for instruction--not fundraising training.....and don't blame the teacher union....this is a Management responsibility.


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Posted by momof2
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2009 at 9:35 am

Totally agree! Just say no to the school. I have had this discussion with my kids. I have sent a letter to the school. cc'd everyone from principal, teachers and PTA. I have my time and will donate that anywhere in the school but they will not get money from me for ANY fundraising or field trips. Time has come people. Stand up for yourselves and say no. If you don't the schools will keep on spending our hard earned money!


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Posted by Pleasantonian
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 21, 2009 at 10:39 am

The schools have been doing these fundraisers for years (these are not PTA driven). Usually it's most effective to hold an assembly to be sure everyone gets told the same thing all at the same time. Each family can decide whether their students would participate.

When my kids were in elementary school, they also had assemblies about these fundraisers. Yes, they do get pumped up with knowing there were prizes (like Girl Scout cookie sales). I didn't like the prizes since my kids didn't need more "stuff". One of my kids liked getting a chance to earn prizes but the other could care less.

In those days, we would go door to door, which was a lot of fun as it gave a chance to talk and connect more with our neighbors. Some neighbors bought, others didn't; no matter what, the neighbors were kind and respectful of the kids' efforts. Our kids got practice with communicating with adults. Most neighbors, even those who sent their kids to private schools bought since our local public school profited. Nowdays the students are told not to go door to door and I miss seeing our neighborhood kids at my doorstep.

Time doesn't stand still; the kids can't wait for the problems with our educational system and funding to be fixed. Yet their education will affect our society. Please support our schools in any way you are comfortable with.


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Posted by more liver please
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2009 at 11:46 am

Reading through the posts as I didn't get a chance to before today, there are alot of angry people. The fundraising has been going on for YEARS. My sister and I went thru the Livermore School District and my child who has graduated through the Pleasanton School District and we all had the prizes flaunted. I remember assemblies as "Really??" posted back close to 50 years ago in Livermore...... AND definitely here in Pleasanton as my child has since graduated but saw all the brochures, along with BUSC, and and and and

Whether it be me as a Bluebird/camp fire girl having to sell campfire girl mints - who remembers those? (my neighbors loved me for that hot item) or magazines - which my neighbors would thoughtfully decline... WE all did it if you went to public school in this area for the past 50 yes, FIFTY years.

It all comes down on what you want to do with it. This new era of immediate gratification (texting) or sense of Entitlment that the child deserves it "just because" - is very difficult to compete with.

Many parents chose to not "deprive" their child from the prize and it can be because 1) They Can... which is possible ... with the wealth in this community, 2) because they feel guilty as both parents in most home/s have to work and have the attack of the guilts.
I know while raising my child with all the fundraisers and this entitlement without working for it, drove ME NUTS.

My home was - if you WANT it, then get out there and hustle and go for it. CASE CLOSED.

He NEVER NEEDED for anything.

The biggest competition/complaint from my child.... was "everyone else's parents are buying up all their (fill in the blank here) magazine, book, mint, CAR, GAS, CAR INSURANCE etc. The $$ get bigger as the age gets older.

What's happened to some of the easy things in life? Why not go back to the school districts and find more of the basic ways of fundraising with a few magazines thrown in there?

Those angry folks... there was a post that suggested it, and I agree 100%.. Put your anger into something constructive.

BTW, I am a full-time, single working parent.... who... bought my own cars and many of them were sketchy, gas - if I didn't have the money, then ride a bike, insurance, and MY OWN HOUSE..... ALL by myself and worked many part time jobs and put myself through 4 years of college.

Isn't Independence is Wonderful!?


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Posted by Enrique
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Sep 21, 2009 at 11:51 am

Several years ago, the parent organization at Pleasanton Middle School decided to ask parents to donate at walk through registration instead of holding an annual fundraiser. Eliminated were countless hours organizing the event, trying to solicit donations and $$$ on evening wear. Surveys indicated that parents would rather donate directly to the schools.

This past year, the student body dropped the magazine drive in lieu of a donation instead. No time spent by students selling magazines that people aren't reading anymore, receiving prizes that end up in landfill, and losing instructional time.

Perhaps parents need to work with the parent organizations at their respective schools to make the move away from fundraisers. However, parents must be willing to fund directly to schools then, since there are many valuable programs that are being cut that require funding.


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Posted by JP - Against Children's Parents Fundraising
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 21, 2009 at 11:58 am

I do not have any kids, and am sick and tired of the parents bringing in their child's fundraising crap to work and doing all of the selling, I don't want the junk at home and I certainly do not want that crap at work. Just say "NO"


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2009 at 1:28 pm

"The schools have been doing these fundraisers for years (these are not PTA driven). Usually it's most effective to hold an assembly to be sure everyone gets told the same thing all at the same time. Each family can decide whether their students would participate."

Do you see now why I am not going to call the district to complain, as suggested by some posts? If this is indeed a violation of district policy (to hold an assembly to promote a fundraiser during class time), as was posted by some, it is my guess that the district has given its blessing (my opinion only), because if not, why would schools do it year after year?


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2009 at 1:31 pm

"Several years ago, the parent organization at Pleasanton Middle School decided to ask parents to donate at walk through registration instead of holding an annual fundraiser. Eliminated were countless hours organizing the event, trying to solicit donations and $$$ on evening wear. Surveys indicated that parents would rather donate directly to the schools."

All schools do this (ask for money during registration), but they still have fundraisers, including those that are promoted during assemblies (that students must attend instead of being in class)


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 21, 2009 at 2:37 pm

When my child was a student - we just said "NO" to those fundraisers and brochures that carried "junk" unless it was something useful that we needed or wanted to give as a gift. However, we ALWAYS contributed to each school with a donation check during the first week of the school year. We would show the check to our child and explain that we were contributing to the school but did not wish to purchase any of the "junk" that was being solicited. In time, our child stopped coming home in a frenzy wanting to become Jr. Salesman of the school. I always resented time out of class for these "sales sessions". Also, it's not only the presale assemblies that take - it's the prize assembly for the winners. If everyone would just contribute a check to the school in whatever amount that household can afford - perhaps we could stop this fundraising frenzy. I too wish they would repeal PROP 13 and get California back on track to balancing the budget and providing for our schools. In time, repealing PROP 13 would also allow people to sell and resell their homes without a HUGE increase in property taxes which occurs today. In the meantime - say no to "JUNK" made overseas in any way possible. Bring our jobs and industries back home.


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Posted by Patriot Liberal
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 21, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Again thank you for all the input on this. I did suggest grass roots fundraisers in which the students:

wash cars-bake and sell goods-have plays or musicals with wholesome home baked goods at intermission etc.
I have no problem if MY child is DOING something constructive and LEARNING something while earning funds for THEIR class to do a field trip or buy some supplies.

The commercial JUNK from multi million dollar "fundraising" companies with their SALES PITCH during class time, the sugar laden goodies, the pressure tactics and prises just DO NOT sit well with me.


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