Thursday, May 10, 2007

Funding schools through scams

One big story here for the last couple of days has been the report by People For Education (see here for earlier reports) that shows Ontario's students shilled for their schools to the tune of over $500 million last school year. The possible inequity of richer neighbourhoods providing better funding is getting a lot of play in the media, but the fact that our children are being turned into touts for the fund-raising industry hasn't gotten much attention.

The really scary story, though, is that most of the junk that schools sell to raise funds--things like chocolate covered almonds, cookies, and assorted trinkets that nobody really wants--returns only a tiny fraction of the revenue to schools. Of course, the $500 million is not solely the result of selling $15 billion dollars of chocolates, but if the money all went to the schools instead of 98% of it going to these fund-raising scams, how much cheaper it would all be, and how much less chocolate our overweight society would be fattening itself up with!

Yes, yes, all overly simplistic, I know. But good to get off one's chest all the same.

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