A Thought on the PTA

I recently read an opinion piece in a major newspaper in which the author states she is “fed up” with the endless fundraising a modern PTA organization must undertake. The author, an editor in New York City, notes that the PTA at her children’s school (which she had been an active member of) raised $185,000 in a recent school year. At the moment, I am kicking myself for having casually recycled the PTA budgets from my sons’ schools here in North Carolina. I would have liked to compare notes and dollar figures, which I am thinking are not far off from the author’s. I do recall a significant dollar figure from my middle school son’s PTA budget that was being raised to pay for additional chargers to complement the new tablet PCs all the kids were getting (and that have since been withdrawn due to safety and hacking concerns, including issues with chargers that melted).

I’m not a fan of PTA fundraisers, though I understand just how necessary they are. But no more scented candles, please. No more overpriced gift wrap. No more prepackaged scone mixes. Look, as a former teacher, a taxpayer, and a believer in public education, I understand the realities of school funding, as whack-a-doodle as they are. But must every school meeting begin with a plea from the PTA? Must I buy a silicone bakeware set I’ll never use simply to assuage my guilt at otherwise being a non-contributor to the PTA?

I don’t know where most schools would be today without their PTA. It would be nice if we could return to simple bake sales. But that would mean our schools were adequately funded, and that’s what has both myself and the opinion-piece author “fed up.” Schools should not have to rely so heavily on their PTA for funding of essentials.

Is there an essential program or even a paid position your local PTA funds? Share your opinions, share your stories, share your tributes, or share your concerns in the comments below.


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