Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Gov. Pawlenty, would you like to buy our school supplies?


Dear Governor Pawlenty and your GOP friends,

Please quit stating that you've balanced any kind of Minnesota state budget without raising taxes. This is a complete lie and you know it. All you have done is shifted the cost of education and public services to the small business people and the homeowners. On top of that, you've committed the unthinkable by tossing hundreds of folks off state-funded health care. What you've done is placed any spending "cuts" on the backs of the lower middle class and the poor, whether they be your supporters or not. Our property taxes have steadily climbed just to keep our schools from completely hemorrhaging. We have ratios of 35:1 in some classrooms, even with levy after levy.

Strangely however, you raised taxes with lightning speed on voters in Hennepin County when the Twins franchise wanted a new baseball stadium. So this "no taxes" pledge seems quite flexible and arbitrary.

Here is one shining example of increased cost to the little guy: our school supply lists. Please take this under consideration. And the list below doesn't cover our two High School students!

For a 4th grade student, the required supplies are:
4 spiral notebooks
1 large eraser
3 pocket folders
1 composition notebook
1 three-ring binder
Clean gym sneakers (nope, the sneakers they wear everyday won't cut it)
Scissors (you read that right - the school no longer supplies scissors)
Ruler
Calculator (the kids in our school must all have the same multi-function calculator at $15 apiece)
Facial tissues (again, you read correctly!! Schools can no longer afford kleenex! The families must supply the classrooms)
School glue
1 box of colored pencils
Pens
8 black felt tip pens (these are for the teachers! The school no longer supplies our teachers with adequate office supplies)
Highlighters
Post-it notes (again, for the teachers)
Markers
4 glue sticks (these last about 4 months, then we buy more)
4 Odorless dry erase markers
Pencils
A large supply box
Antibacterial wipes (nope, the school doesn't supply these)
Hand sanitizer (to share with the classroom)
Ziploc bags

Also, our teachers are buying quite of bit of their supplies from their own pockets!! Our PTO encourages families to review a Teacher Holiday Wish List rather than the usual holiday gifts for instructors. These wishes include reams of construction paper, glue, tape, pens, gifts cards, books, and more kleenex. Why should the taxpaying families have to provide these basics?

So stop working only for the advancement of your party, and start working for the people of Minnesota. The majority of us have no clout and no power, but you have sworn to serve us and need I remind you that we pay your salary and provide you a house? Get some real work done.

ADDENDUM: I've been thinking about this all day. I propose we ask our legislators to provide their own health care coverage, pens, kleenex, copy paper, tape, etc. and that they be fed EXACTLY what most school kids are receiving in their hot lunch program. Also, that their computer equipment only be upgraded as often as the poorest school in their district.

15 comments:

Christopher Tassava said...

I feel like throwing up.

Christopher Tassava said...

(You oughta make sure to send this to David Bly and our senators.)

Beth said...

as a teacher and mom...thank you! My stomach hurts just thinking about our list... the new item is each kid is suppose to bring a ream of copy paper.... shhhhh I took home to reams from my classroom this Spring...and guess what I will be putting in my dds backpack the first day???lol

Pawlenty needs to get a clue!

SkylersDad said...

This is terrible, and happening everywhere across the country!

FranIAm said...

I have spent I do not know how much on school supplies for my stepdaughter for a few years. Her aunt has taken this over, and we gratefully accepted.

It is nonsense and the bag with the effing tissues is not 5 feet away from me.

And I know that the teachers spend tons of their own money.

Disgrace!

Christopher Tassava said...

FranIAm uses the right word: "disgrace." How can American children or teachers keep up with the rest of the world when we'll spend billions on stupid wars, but force families to buy goddamn reams of paper!?!?

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

I agree with your viewpoint, although the top 6 items have always been purchased by students and families in my long experience, since they are for the personal use of the student. When I was in high school in Milwaukee, back in the last century, we had to buy our own high school text books, although poor kids could get theirs free.

I want to send your list on to my legislators, although since they are Dems, they already will agree.

While the suburbs and businesses were booming under Pawlenty, the schools and nursing homes were going down the tubes. But maybe all that wealth I thought I saw was really a mirage. Pawlenty for Pres? Oh, go throw up.

Johnny Yen said...

I spent a ton of my own money as a teacher.

One of the things that Obama did, both symbolically and substantially, was cancel the unneeded F-22 fighter. Why the hell do we need a fighter plane to defend against an enemy that doesn't exist anymore (the Soviet Union) when we don't have enough money for schools, hospitals and repairing our crumbling infrastructure? This is what happened to Rome-- they bankrupted themselves fighting wars in far-flung parts of their empire, while neglecting the home fires. History repeats.

Shan said...

Oh my freaking God. I am completely freaking out right now. I had NO IDEA the list was this big. I knew it was bad, but I. HAD. NO. IDEA. And my fellow mom-friends will freak out too. (Our kids aren't in grade school yet.) And you have 2 other kids to buy for!!!!!

What in the world?! Sometimes I just hate this country. Sorry, it's true.

themom said...

Damn FB...it makes it harder to get to the blogs. I have to rearrange my schedule more efficiently.

As for supplying the teachers with markers, erasers and post-it notes...I say BS. Teachers actually get a dollar for dollar write off of all supplies they have to purchase - you don't. Let the teachers buy there own stuff, if the school doesn't supply them. Thegrandson also had a list like this, and I told the teacher at a "back to school swim party" the other night, how I felt. She told me the list was compiled by the school board - not her. No problem, she knows we are not supplying HER.

FranIAm said...

Dear TheMom - is that true? That they can deduct it dollar for dollar on their taxes? I have never heard that before.

dyana said...

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Great Blog.....

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Liberality said...

That list is plainly ridiculous.

venus said...

This is terrible.... one should read this post..
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Jenifer said...

I am completely freaking out right now.

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