First up...the price of gas.
I filled up my car on Monday morning at the Safeway gas pump; they offer a 10cent off per gallon of gas when you spend $50 or more on a shopping trip. Feeding my growing boys is more than $50 a shopping trip, so I have a lot of these fuel awards. Monday's gas trip caught the pumps at Safeway to be $3.89/gal or $3.79 if you have the 10cent off fuel reward (not too bad, as it isn't $4 yet). So, I filled up my car for around $50. Well, after driving to/from the rink on Monday, which is a 70 mile round trip...and again last night I am already at half tank. Thursday there will be another trip to the rink, so I am sure that I will have to fill up again before the weekend. It is just crazy!
Ok, I know that schools in California don't get a lot of money from the government. They have cancelled a lot of programs to help save money...they have increased the size of the classroom and gotten rid of some teachers...they have increased the amount of dues for school sports at the high school...they continue to try and sell wrapping paper, magazines, raffles, signing telegrams, etc to raise money to fund projects, programs and buy equiptment to better educate our children.
They have added a new law to make it madatory for kids to be in school - students can only have 3 unexcused absences a year and will start being hounded by truant notices if they have more...and in extreme cases parents of truant kids can be fined & incarcinarated. The only "excused" absence is if a kid is sick, but they can only be sick 3 times throughout the year, and not 3 days together or you will need to get a doctors note to verify that the kid was indeed sick. So, both of my boys play travel hockey...both have had about 10 absences (or 7 because the first 3 are 'freebies')...I received Matthew's truant notice before winter break, talked with the middle school principal and an understanding has been reached. Because I knew that Robert would be absent for hockey after the first of the year, I initiated the same conversation with the prinicipal at the high school...just got a "thank you for informing us of Robert's extracurricular sport. He has wonderful grades and we are glad that he is able to balance his absences with his education and keep his grades to a 4.0 (straight As), but unfortunately any absence he has will be unexcused." I know that there are families who take their kids out of school for a trip to Disney or where ever during non-school breaks so that they can miss the lines at the amuesment parks...or pay the lower out-of-season prices. Why punish the kids/families who give a damn about their kids' education, whose kids have straight As, and turn in all their assignments on time? They continue to say that if a kid is not in school they cannot learn and do well - it is time that the educators state the obvious: If a child is not in school, the school receives fewer dollars that day - for each student represents a $.
Then, there is this situation...which I just don't understand. One of Matthew's friends participated in a school fundraiser hosted by a local company. It is the kind of fundraiser where you have to go to the company's webiste and click the name of the child. The more clicks they receive the more chances they have to win whatever that company is giving. Well, the school sent out emails and requests to go to the websit and click on this little girls name. If she received the most 'clicks' she would win a party for her whole class at the business in addition to a iPod Nano & Laptop for her school. She won, they had a celebration assembly yesterday. Long story-short...the school kept the iPod Nano to use for future assemblies, but the teacher who the laptop was for, decided she didn't want it...so she gave it to the little girl. Excuse me? Wasn't that for the school? The school who continually needs money to fund projects and buys equiptment, such as new computers? I am sure that someone in the school would have been able to find a use for a new $1200 computer. Better yet, I am sure that there are some children whose families can't afford a computer that would love to use it for the school year to do their school work. Hello? Is it only me who doesn't understand this?
I am sorry for all the whinny this morning. Between the increase in gas prices, the increase in food prices and our education situation...well, I just needed to vent and get this off my shoulders. I appreciate your visit and reading.
Until next time...which I hope to have a photo of Family Sampler progress...remember:
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!