Saturday, April 26, 2008

Educationally Speaking...

A "conversation" I'm having on a frugality forum, of all places:

That hits on a pet peeve of mine. We homeschool -- but are forced to pay school taxes! Teachers at public and private schools may deduct up to ~$500 on their taxes for supplies bought with personal money. But homeschoolers (and here is the kicker - who are legally considered private schools in my state) are SPECIFICALLY banned from doing so. We must register as a "private" school, but cannot enjoy the tax break therein.

Someone else: Yes, but we (public school teachers) are buying supplies for 30 (in elementary schools) or 130 (in middle and high school) students that aren't our own children. You are buying school supplies for your own children. You wouldn't get a tax deduction for anything else you'd buy for your own kids. You choose to teach them at home, then you've chosen to make their education your own, along with everything that entails.

Me again: (Rant ON)
I can see your point, but I can't say I consider it a good one. I'm not talking about buying paper and crayons. I spend $400 to $800 a year on curricula - in addition to all the goodies that go along with it. Not to mention the fact that 1) you choose to teach and 2) they're not your children!

Your comment is a perfect picture of the entitlement mindset that has invaded our lives. If my child attended your school, I wouldn't expect you to provide my child's paper or pencils. You shouldn't have to buy them for anyone. That just didn't happen when I was a kid. Oh I'm sure occasionally a teacher would slip a pencil or notebook to a very poor child in the class. You've just told me it is my responsibility (and I agree) to provide my child's supplies. Then it is also the responsibility of your students' parents.

Of course, public schools could afford to do more for indigent students if they weren't so busy playing put a condom on a banana, but that's another rant altogether. The NEA could do much more good if they would stick to education instead of hosting partial-birth abortionist George Tiller at their meeting...and lauding him for his "pioneering" work. I saw video of that and it absolutely turned my stomach. I suppose the NEA wants to lower class size by any means necessary. If the NEA spent as much time ensuring quality education as they spend lobbying for more money for it, they wouldn't need the money so much.

I know that there are good teachers out there who don't put up with all the foolishness we see in today's schools. I'm sure you're one of them. But I pay taxes for the upkeep of schools and for books. Do you think I'd be allowed a vote at a PTA (or whatever they call it now) meeting? Don't think so. Do I get to check out a/v material and equipment? Nope. I don't want their curricula so that's not an issue. So, to recap, I am compelled by law to give them money; I am not allowed to use their supplies and I'm to simply endure their scorn because I homeschool.

The schools around here are constantly whining and begging for more money. Yet they have state of the art whiteboards that print copies or some such nonsense. New computers every other year or so. It's all power point and slick production. Fun gadgets? Yes. Necessary to education? Nope. Spending is out of control, yet parents are expected to foot the ever increasing bill.

Yes, I chose to homeschool my child. I chose to do without so that I can be home and teach him. I chose to start my own design firm and make money by working much of the night before teaching much of the day. Am I bitter about that? Nope. Not at all.

But if anyone would like to buy a small hershey bar for $6
to fund DS's music lessons I'd be more than happy to
take their money
accept their generous offer.

What do YOU say?

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