Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Since when do parents have to pay to chaperon?

When Amber, my oldest, was in school I went on many field trips – in elementary, middle and high school. (I’ve been lucky to have a daughter who loves to have me around.) As the three younger children get into school I haven’t changed my plans to be involved when I can. That’s why when I received a permission slip for field trips, I was excited and hoping their field trips aren’t on the same day. They aren’t! Yippee, I thought, not only will I be spending time with them and getting to know their classmates, but I’ll get to go to our local zoo and a petty zoo.

My excitement faltered when I read that parents who could chaperon had to pay. I’d never paid for a field trip in my almost 20 years as a parent. Not when Amber was in elementary, middle or high school. Not when the younger three were attending at home daycare and the provider needed help with the children during a trip and not when they were attending head start. One of the children’s teachers had added to her permission slip that the parents who paid in full first would be chosen as chaperons. So…. what would happen to the money that a parent sent, but it didn’t get there in time? Or if she decided to open one parent’s envelope before another?

As each year passes I’m finding that this (what I call) new public school system is really pretty sucky. We buy our children’s school supplies, pay for field trips, do fundraisers, pay for pictures… Even when they have special guests we pay for the goods they’re selling. What in the world are the community sponsors for? For instance, there’s a fast food restaurant that shall remain nameless that I’ve seen listed as numerous school sponsors. But I’ve never seen them give any of their goodies for free. Each time they’re involved we have to buy the food.

An-t-way, give me the 411? Is this the way it should be and I’m just an old-fashioned mom reminiscing about the good old days or is anyone just as annoyed as I am?