Monday, September 17, 2007

Free education???

Sorry folks, but I just have to vent. School here in northern Virginia started the day after labor day. I took my three school-aged kids to their respective open houses, collected the school supply lists, and then analyzed what could be used from previous years and what had to be bought that was new. Admittedly, with two kids in high school the supply costs weren't nearly as bad as when they were all in elementary and middle school, but still the fact remains that education isn't free.

I resigned myself to spending more than a hundred dollar for paper, glue, binders, crayons and markers. Old backpacks were repaired, lunch boxes found new owners since I refused to buy new ones and no one wanted the same one as last year. Then reality set in. I got the bill for my daughter's cheerleading. OUCH!!! We had already spent several hundred dollars on the camp the coach had deemed mandatory, ordered shoes (that still aren't in yet), and paid more than $100 for clothes that fit my 9-year-old, not the 16-year-old they were purchased for. Now we were being given bills for new uniforms (even though the parents voted against them) that won't even arrive until the season is nearly over.

Yes, I know I sound like a whiny parent. The truth is that I'm not just a whiny parent. I'm also a coach. In fact, I coach at the same high school. To think that I feel guilty that my swimmers have to pay around $45 per year plus the cost of their optional team suit ($20-$40.)

Now back to the whole point of my rantings. Has education ever been free?


Anne Bradshaw said...

Nope. Even in England, we had to pay for uniforms, cookery ingredients, sports gear and the like. But I was quite glad because it meant the children and I knew exactly what they had to wear each day, and didn't have to compete with peer pressure to buy the latest clothes and shoes--at least not for everyday use.

Wouldn't like to have to pay out these days though--prices have gone up way too high.

Traci Hunter Abramson said...

I guess we'd paying for everything one way or another, either by choice or by taxes. At least we're able to look for the sales for school supplies!