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Any Ideas for Reducing Costs for Students?

Original post made by Todd on Aug 20, 2010

Wow, this week was more than even I anticipated.

Student Activity Fees, Yearbooks, Senior Pictures, Grad Night, Sports Fees, and on and on...does it ever stop??

I remember when I was in school, our Yearbook was $25, our Senior Pics were $30, Student Activity Card was $8 and it didn't cost anything to play a sport. Were are certainly not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

Has anyone come across any ways to reduce even some of these costs?

Todd

Comments (25)

Posted by Parent of Two, a resident of Val Vista
on Aug 20, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Parent of Two is a registered user.

Don't have kids.

Seriously, check with your childless friends. They're taking off for spontaneous vacations, buying fancy two-seaters, and watching huge televisions the size of movie screens.

Many of them would trade us in a heartbeat for the joy of coaching baseball, watching dance recitals, and (yes) writing checks for high school activities that keep our kids occupied during the year.

Yeah, it's expensive. But it's worth it.


Posted by My 5c, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 20, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Yes. Don't vote for Conservatives. They'll do away with public education, making schools like Corportions, and the kids will have to start paying even to go to the bathroom.


Posted by An Old Pro, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 20, 2010 at 2:20 pm

This is the last year I have to keep asking myself those same questions! YAY!!!!

There is not really much you can do about the fees and things at school, they are what they are, and as Parent of Two said, it'd be nice if it were less, but it's worth it.

As far as the non-required stuff, our daughter offered to pay for her cell phone *beaming proudly*. I was looking online a few weeks ago re: th Senior Pictures. We had used a photographer from San Ramon for our two boys, but I just think $700 (what they charge now) is just too much.

I found a photographer here in Pleasanton through Craig's List who shoots up to 75 poses for $150 and you can either take them on CD and have them printed yourself (I'd never thought of that before!) or get one of their packages that have the pictures on CD and different assortments of prints from $160-$180.

They have a website www.myaffordableportrait.com and the photos on there look pretty good, so we're going to try them out. My husband said for $500 it's worth it to try someone new!

Another thing we started with our daughter last year (didn't make much of a difference for the boys) was instead of filling her "list" of necessary apparel purchases, we handed her "x" amount and let her do her own school clothes shopping.

Kids certainly change their needs, priorities and styles when they're on a set budget!

Hope this helps some. Good luck!


Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown
on Aug 20, 2010 at 3:01 pm

For Todd--everything that you listed is optional, it has nothing to do with the actual education of the kids. Would you suggest that those of us without kids pay a parcel tax so that you can avoid optional costs? All tax money needs to go to education, none to extra activities. It is absolutely right and fair that the parents subsidize all of the extras.


Posted by LOL, a resident of Avila
on Aug 20, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Funny how you compare the quality of life in Kansas with that we have here. Perhaps you should head back to Kansas.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 20, 2010 at 4:01 pm

The question is how much of these costs are heavely padded?
Our kids used to bring black shorts and a plain white T-shirt for PE. The PE departments started requiring parents to buy the shorts and t-shirt from them to make a 100% profit on each piece sold.

Many of these costs are hidden fundraisers. It is unfortunate that some people are insensitive and don't realise these costs are hard on many families.

I always like a good resource but I hope this topic was not a clever way to promote the photograper.


Posted by Todd, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Aug 20, 2010 at 10:38 pm

To Old Pro, thanks for the ideas and for the web address. That would help a great deal and I'll check it out. Know where I can save that kind of money on a formal dress come springtime? *laughing*

To Resident, I understand these are optional costs and I was not trying to avoid paying them or suggesting anything about a parcel tax. I was just wondering if anyone had any suggestions on how to reduce the cost a bit. Fortunately, there are people in this community who do think of others before themselves and responded as such.

And while it is a discussion for another day, I might suggest you think about the fact that "as goes the education of the community's youth, so goes the community"...and your precious property values. Just a thought...

To Sam, I agree completely. Some of these costs HAVE to be padded and using things, like clothing required for PE as a fundraiser, wouldn't surprise me one bit.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Aug 21, 2010 at 10:16 am

If you live beyond your means, then you have a problem...grow up! Teens can be difficult at times so it's up to you to manage your finances. don't count on teens to help you out! tee hee hee, eeh eeh eet...


Posted by BTW, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Aug 23, 2010 at 11:20 am

Many Kansas schools have Textbook Rental fees due at registration time!!! We are very fortunate to have the textbook program where a copy comes home and stays home for the year.


Posted by David, a resident of Castlewood
on Aug 24, 2010 at 11:49 am

Not meaning to sound rude, but I find this THE most ridiculous waste of hard-to-find resources I've ever heard of. What's the deal? Do we not want our poor lil' children to have to carry those big old books home with them? Poor babies. Just think of all the additional teachers and other necessary resources that could have been saved if we didn't coddle our children with the needless expenditure of tens of thousands of dollars...for books to have at home?

I fully support our local schools, but THIS is exactly the type of thing that makes people say things like...

"Another example of our outstanding public school system at work".

Would anyone care to TRY and put a rational explanation behind this financial fiasco?


Posted by Julie Testa, a resident of Foothill High School
on Aug 24, 2010 at 3:12 pm

David,

Don't blame the kids for the bad choices of administrators. When you and I were in high school we had lockers to keep our books in.

When PUSD made the decision to double the number of students on our high school campuses, they no longer had space for the rows of locker that 2500 students would need to keep their books in between classes. This forced students to carry six or more heavy text books in backpacks all day, as well as to home and back.

The district felt the double books plan was a concession for robbing our community of the resource of a third high school.

There should no longer be a need for the two text books. The district should be buying books on disk. Many of the text books at Las Positas are available in many electronic forms at a fraction of the cost.


Posted by Julie Testa, a resident of Foothill High School
on Aug 24, 2010 at 3:12 pm

David,

Don't blame the kids for the bad choices of administrators. When you and I were in high school we had lockers to keep our books in.

When PUSD made the decision to double the number of students on our high school campuses, they no longer had space for the rows of locker that 2500 students would need to keep their books in between classes. This forced students to carry six or more heavy text books in backpacks all day, as well as to home and back.

The district felt the double books plan was a concession for robbing our community of the resource of a third high school.

There should no longer be a need for the two text books. The district should be buying books on disk. Many of the text books at Las Positas are available in many electronic forms at a fraction of the cost.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 24, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

There's a few (very few) districts around the State that are now using e-textbooks. The State has some e-textbook program. That's something we should be looking into, I mean, if we're such the innovative and forward-thinking high quality district we're supposed to be.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 24, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Free digital textbook reviews at Web Link and Web Link


Posted by Diana, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Aug 24, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Stacey always does her homework. I wish she had run for school board. It would be nice to have at least one board candidate that would be objective about a parcel tax.


Posted by ptownmac, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Aug 25, 2010 at 9:29 pm

If I'm not mistaken, it isn't actually "double" the text books. Each student gets one to take home and then there is a set in each classroom for the 6 or 7 periods of students to use. I honestly don't think this adds up to hundreds of thousands of extra dollars. I personally think it's a wonderful opportunity to allow our kids to have a book at home and one to use at school. The backpacks already often exceed recommended weight tolerances for growing bodies. I doubt very many adults would silently lug around all those books daily and not complain about it.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2010 at 9:10 pm

So Stacey you are saying that every family should be required to have computer/internet access at home for an E-book? How is this funded for those who can't afford it? What E-resources are currently being used in PUSD? (hint: new math adoption)


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Sam said- "Our kids used to bring black shorts and a plain white T-shirt for PE. The PE departments started requiring parents to buy the shorts and t-shirt from them to make a 100% profit on each piece sold."

Way to dramatize the issue Sam, kids are still allowed to bring their own clothes in for PE, just signed the note from the PE teacher that stated that. Back to the business of misrepresenting the schools once again!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 26, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

No, Really. I said it is something we should be looking into. You should check out the link I provided and dig around a little bit on the subject. That issue is already recognized. Why do you immediately jump to some assumed conclusion instead of being open to new ideas and exploring how they might address a problem?


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 27, 2010 at 9:38 pm

I jump to that because of your tone "I mean, if we're such the innovative and forward-thinking high quality district we're supposed to be."

I agree with most of what you say, your research is good, what I have issue with is the lack of information about what actually is going on in the schools. I wish you would visit classrooms, talk to the tech specialists, find out what is happening and plans for where we are going in PUSD classrooms. You have good ideas, it's just frustrating to hear assumptions about our schools that are not reflective of the work that is currently taking place.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Aug 28, 2010 at 10:25 am

Really?,

I hope it is true that all schools are now allowing white tees and black shorts. I suspect it is different at different schools. I am speaking from direct experience with four kids, past and present in PUSD.

For years when I challenged the absurdity of requiring their shorts and tee, the only justification I got was that, "it looks nice". I voiced my concern to the administration then our board members, which made my student a target of the PE teachers (it was a hidden fundraiser).
If all schools have changed their policy you can thank, instead of attack, parents like myself that challenged those policies.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 28, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Sam-
What you're doing is adding misinformation and attempting to insight negative perceptions about the schools motives for requiring PE clothes. Do you read the handouts the teachers send home that clearly stated clothes can come from home? Assumptions are clearly your attempt to paint ulterior motives when there are none.

So many have posted similar propaganda without even checking the facts- only to be taken as telling the truth. I don't thank you at all, I blame you for what you are purposely doing to harm PUSD.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Aug 28, 2010 at 7:02 pm

If a school policy NOW allows for PE clothes from home, that is a change from how it was for many years. I am sure many parents before you made that change happen.
Either you are unable to comprehend these posts or you are simply argumentative


Posted by Sam, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Aug 28, 2010 at 7:02 pm

If a school policy NOW allows for PE clothes from home, that is a change from how it was for many years. I am sure many parents before you made that change happen.
Either you are unable to comprehend these posts or you are simply argumentative


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 29, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Really,

Well, I apologize for that tone. That's my sarcastic side coming through in my writing and it is not my intent to detract from work being done inside the classrooms. Those familiar with my writing will know that my issues with PUSD have always been with the management, not with what goes on between teacher and student.


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