Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Time to Give, a Time to Keep

If you've been following this blog for any length of time (or if you care to use the search function) you'll know I've been a supporter of the idea behind the Manilow Music Fund, keeping music education in the public schools. Barry's comment hit the nail on the head - you'd think the public school system would see to these needs, but they don't. (Paraphrasing) I've said in one of my earlier posts that it is unwise at best to leave all of the decisions regarding education in the hands of any government entity. Parents, plus anyone else interested in seeing children get educated need to keep their hands in and keep control.

Barry's idea of contributing to the schools is great. I support it, I practice it with my local private preschool where my kids are enrolled. (Too young for kindgerarten yet.) But with that said, the needs and the processes are not "one size fits all". Not only are needs different, but the process of ensuring that the money actually goes to the MATERIALS USED IN THE SCHOOL varies widely as well.

Why do I have a bug up my ass about this tonight?

THIS: Former DeKalb Schools Chief, 3 Others Indicted

Complaints about this school district have been stinking to high heaven for years. While the Board of Ed makes $100K each (including SECRETARIES pulling down upwards of $90K plus benefits) and the "former Chief" banking a cool quarter mil annually, some school buildings are literally falling apart, steps away from being officially condemned. Musical instruments? How about toilets that flush? Many kids are still waiting on the latter! Even in better neighborhoods schools are so old and overcrowded that the school system sets up trailers with port-a-shits in them as mobile classrooms, rather than build or add on to school buildings.

BTW, have a barf bag handy for the part where he used a state-issued purchasing card to vacation in the Bahamas an buy tickets to the Masters. The indictment is for RICO, kids. Racketeering. We're in Tony Soprano territory now, not just swiping a handful of paper clips.

Before you give ANYTHING to your local schools or whatever - and that is not just money, but time and effort as well - do your homework. Make sure that there is a very short distance between your checkbook and the intended recipient. Can the stewards of your donations account for Every. Last. Cent. of your contribution? Is it getting wasted on administrators and other beaurocrats rather than the children they are supposed to educate? If the answers are "No" and "Yes", respectively, maybe it's better to wait. I know a lot of parents who are going to focus on flushing the poop out of the Board of Ed and stop the (now criminal) hemorrhaging of cash in all the wrong places.

Yes, it is important to give to the schools. I intend to when I'm sure my money and time are spent wisely. But for now, the wallet stays shut and my eyes stay open.

1 comment:

  1. If I wanted to help a school's music program, or any other program for that matter, whether it be sports or art, I would buy a musical instrument or piece of equipment or art supplies. That way, I'd know exactly what my money went for.