CLARIFY: All of this is not PTA. This is only 5th grade parents. I reference the PTA budget because PTA is the one who "writes the checks" to pay for things. The 5th grade collects money....gives it to the PTA to fund the checks they write. PTA is the middleman....decisions about these things have nothing to do with PTA.
PTA does separate fundraisers for PTA funded activities. This includes but isn't limited fieldtrips, staff appreciation, community things, and books/materials.
I flat out said....this is just a jumping off point. Somewhere to start. ALL of these numbers are up for negotiation between parents. Just wanted to show what was previously spent, and how the trend over the past years have been going.
The teachers appreciated. Maybe a few parents. The rest....eh.
Some parents didn't get what was involved in fundraising. Several times the teachers and some more vocal people (me!) said if we do 10 small fundraisers, over time they become less effective because people just see them as a nuisance and don't want to participate. This concept seemed lost.
But the two big surprises....
1) Class Gift. I proposed including a "class gift" as part of the budget. The kids all get soooo much. It is a nice gesture to "give back." My idea was to use whatever money we decide to purchase something the school needs. I proposed $100 per class....so $300 total (and restated...it is just a jumping off point....it can be more or less). Again....all of this is under the main umbrella of "money needed for everything." I got 1 person who thought it was a good idea. The rest sort of nodded....but were non-committal. The feeling was....well, yeah....but isn't this about MY kid....why are we going to give something away???
CLARIFY: The class gift is NOT to the teachers, it is to the school. If individual families want to say thank you to a teacher, go right ahead. My thought was that the class would present a gift to the school, for all to use. Something that the teachers and staff have expressed "gee, it would be nice to have XYZ." There are many things in our school that need to be replaced, and year after year, they aren't. This would be something to help out with that. Similar to a high school "class gift" to a school...but on a smaller scale. The decision of WHAT would be purchased would be made by the 5th grade parents.
Le sigh. And....
2) PARTY! A parent (whom is not the nicest person) suggested we just raise money to through a big party. A $2000-$3000 PARTY. Nothing else. Just give them a big blow out party. I disagreed and she muttered under her breath. I felt that was over the top, and that it could easily get out of hand (budget wise). And it set a precedent that future classes would try to do the same, but would also add in more. This is opposite of "less is more."
I am NOT saying I am right. I am NOT saying that there isn't room to compromise in everything. I was just surprised that a parent felt it was appropriate to spend that much money (largely other people's money) on a party for 10 year olds.
In the end....nothing was decided. Now people want to ask the other 40 people who weren't there what they want. Well, that was what this meeting was for. Whatever.
I will say.....if the large majority decide to throw a big party.....I will not help with that. I can't support that. I will financially pay whatever my kids' share is, but I am not planning to fundraise for an over the top party. I can compromise....but I am not going to give up ALL my values.
And for those who will tell me....well you do this that and the other. Yes I do. But I don't agree with that idea. And I don't have to "support it" with time and energy.
CLARIFY: One fundamental problem at our school among parent run events is understanding a budget. Most just want to spend what they want to spend, and don't consider where that money comes from. They say "well, it just costs that much." Since I came to this school in 2010, this has been an ongoing struggle. No one sets limits on things, and just figures that someone will take care of it in the end. Many people have no idea how much an event actually costs, nor do they consider how much money is available to run the event. I was trying to show that we don't have to spend the same amount of money, and can still have great things. But people aren't used to starting with a budget. They are used to raising money, then spending it, and if they don't have enough....they figure someone will pick up the slack.