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It’s time for a College Cake Sale (Again)

By James-T-Kirk - 7 May 2010 11

Well kiddies, here we are in Term 2, 2010.

I have received information from one of my insiders, that again the various Technology faculties in ACT Colleges are running out of money, because parents still are not paying the Voluntary Contributions.

Gosh Darn.

So what should they do……

1. Have a massive Bake Sale, so they can get funds for technology supplies.
2. Write to parents, asking for them to actually pay these Voluntary Contributions.
3. Ask their various financial managers for more money.
4. Stop teaching the classes that are affected. No money means no practical classes. No practical classes means that those subjects that have ‘accreditation’ (from the Board of Senior Secondary Studies) are not operating as designed, so they can’t run anyway….

The bit that surprises me is that the schools still create their budgets on the basis that parents will pay the contributions. Well that still doesn’t work. The bit that blows me out of the water, is that the schools are not allowed to write to the parents, telling them of the consequences for not paying their contribution…..

Can anybody else think of something that can fix the situation?

(I fixed it by sending little JTK off to a private school, where I gladly pay to create their misery)

What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
It’s time for a College Cake Sale (Again)
cleo 11:59 pm 10 May 10

Have cake stalls and trash and treasure, include all families to do this.

James-T-Kirk 10:57 am 10 May 10

Cool

Don’t get me wrong – I believe that if the contributions are VOLUNTARY, then they should be just that – VOLUNTARY.

That’s why I send my kiddies to a private school – where the funding is absolutely guaranteed!

So – this raises the question – if the contributions are voluntary – why have them at all?

A mate of mine is the treasurer for a community organisation, at a recent meeting, people were whining that he wouldn’t let them put down $20k in the budget for fundraising. The other committee members went a bit spako when he highlited that in the past 5 years, they had put down fundraising money, and none had come in, so they should build a budget assuming that none would come in this year….

Wow – reality in budgeting – That will never catch on!

miz 8:12 pm 08 May 10

I filed and bd84 – agreed. Schools should be funded properly in the first place.

And it would be unethical to target the kids of parents who don’t pay the VCs and/or give preferential treatment to those whose parents do.

Essentially, the issue is lack of funding, but it does not follow that financial issues are all the fault of non-paying parents. Perhaps the funding model that expects bits and pieces to be funded in such a piecemeal and fragmented fashion is suss in the first place? . . . after all, we ALL pay our taxes to fund a proper and decent education for all.

georgesgenitals 7:42 pm 08 May 10

I pay it. I don’t believe there are many who genuinely can’t afford it.

Gerry-Built 3:40 pm 08 May 10

I-filed said :

some schools shamed children whose parents didn’t pay.

Really?

Gerry-Built 1:23 pm 08 May 10

gospeedygo said :

I would have thought that it should always be that way. Hence it being called a contribution.

I don’t agree (why should those prepared to pay not be entitled to have better, and subsequently encourage other students). However, I would much prefer that the Government fund schools appropriately, ie, if they commit to a “free education” – they shouldn’t do it in words only – they should back ’em up with a funding model that states that commitment more genuinely. When the name was changed to VCs, there was no change in systemic funding to allow for the loss of funds. This is not “big money”… it is an average of probably $20,000-$30,000 per High School – and probably double that for Colleges.

Historically, schools had always asked for these funds to cover the costs of individuals who *choose* more costly elective subjects that involve additional “consumables” costs (Cooking, Wood, Metal etc).

Additionally, each school has access to discretionary funding to cover those who cannot afford VCs – and all they need to do is write to the Principal of the school to request their VCs to be covered (however, Aussies tend to be too proud to ask for $ help).

gospeedygo 11:26 am 08 May 10

Gerry-Built said :

So children from those families that actually pay are not able to receive any benefit above and beyond the rest of the group.

I would have thought that it should always be that way. Hence it being called a contribution.

annoyedcan 9:55 am 08 May 10

I-filed said :

They aren’t allowed to write to parents demanding a contribution that’s voluntary, which is as it should be. Schools funding is a government responsibility. Some parents can’t afford the contributions, and there were problems apparently years ago, when some schools shamed children whose parents didn’t pay.

Some things arnt free in this world including schools. If parents can not pay a simple contribution why do they have kids in the first place. Buses are goverenemt but we pay to use them, car parks are goverenemt but we pay for them and roads we also pay to use them. So whats wrong paying for your kids education. This is another example of soft soft governements

bd84 9:32 pm 07 May 10

They are voluntary for a reason, public schools are *supposed* to be free. There are many families out there that can genuinely not afford the contributions. However I’m sure that there also some who just can’t be bothered or refuse on principle.

Given that the Government couldn’t properly fund schools, even if they had a few billion dollar economic stimulus package to waste, I think where additional materials are needed a user pays subsidised system would work, with allowances for those students who genuinely not afford it.

I-filed 7:19 pm 07 May 10

They aren’t allowed to write to parents demanding a contribution that’s voluntary, which is as it should be. Schools funding is a government responsibility. Some parents can’t afford the contributions, and there were problems apparently years ago, when some schools shamed children whose parents didn’t pay.

Gerry-Built 7:17 pm 07 May 10

I was involved with a relevant teacher’s professional association at the time “Subject Levy” (or whatever the local derivation) was forcibly changed to “Voluntary Contribution”, at the insistence of the ACT Government (itself cajoled by P&C groups), which included sending notes home to the effect of “if you don’t want to pay, feel free not to”. The *immediate* result (from info supplied from schools that responded to our enquiries) was that the contributions parent’s paid towards elective subjects dropped from (around) an already low 40% to about 10%. The removal of such funds was never subsidised by government, nor schools – who, quite frankly, cannot afford additional costs.

Shortly after the change to “Voluntary Contributions”, another change was that neither classroom teachers, nor Faculty Head Teachers were permitted to see lists of who has paid, and who has not, instead receiving summary information. So children from those families that actually pay are not able to receive any benefit above and beyond the rest of the group.

An example of the great shame in this, from my teaching area (at the time) is that most schools are reduced to working with small projects, and to create these with radiata pine, which is a god-awful, dreadful timber to work with.

Whilst I work in Public Education, I also send/will send my children through private education, where I know like-minded parents will pay “Subject Levies” for elective subjects and fees, but will still receive a similar quality of education in core subjects.

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