More Student Exploitation Concerns

A concerned parent sent us the following message, raising concerns about using students for fundraising causes. It certainly is worth discussing the propriety of of turning students into mini sales forces, regardless how noble the cause.

“I just got my weekly email newsletter from Discovery Elementary, and they are doing a fundraiser “to help kids.” A closer look, though, reveals that the “charity” is in fact the teacher’s union children’s fund, an organization that in 2009 collected over $120,000 and gave out only about half of that.

According to their form 990, they had over $300,000 in assets at the end of 2009. I have noticed a recent trend in asking elementary kids to do the work of fundraising in the school setting – we just completed one for the American Heart Association.

Now I wonder why the district is allowing outside charities to pressure our cute kids to do their fundraising work. I have copies of the flyer and the form 990 if you would like to see it.”

EDITOR NOTE–The recent legislation allowing advertising on school buses raised similar concerns.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Schools are about kids?

  2. By “closer look reveals” did the parent mean reading further down the page? If you don’t want your kid involved be a parent and don’t let them be involved. Try looking up the balance sheet of the AMA and see how much they are worth.

  3. When I was a kid we got the full court press to sell all manner of stuff from cookies to peanuts to raise money for the school. I never figured out where that money went. I do know the people supplying the stuff to sell made plenty of money.

    The other thing I resented was each kid was given a certain number of these items to sell or faced the wrath of the teacher if they didn’t produce the cash.

  4. How can I show off my “mad Googling skills”, if you don’t post the name of the organization.

    Was it the IEA’s Chidren Fund or Meridian Schools Foundation?

    EDITOR NOTE–Clancy, based on the amount, I would guess IEA. Please share your results with us.

  5. My eldest boy currently attends a Boise elementary school that is considered a “title”, or low-income, school. He’s constantly being asked to sell things for this or that fundraiser- we’ve decided that he’s just not going to do it, period. Some of the items that they’ve tried to get him to peddle have been disproportionately expensive(the terribly overpriced “gourmet” cookie dough comes to mind)- very, very small bang for the buck, and completely out of reach, financially, for the very families of the kids being tapped to sell ’em! I think that more of us should just stand up to them on this issue- my boy feels bad that we’re not letting him do it, and I’m sure that the pressure to perform, from peers and teacher is unpleasant. But I hate for him to have to be a little shill for the cause du jour, when he really had no part in deciding WHAT he’s selling for!

  6. Looks like MEA encourages teachers to raise money for the IEA Children’s Fund. (more can be found on MEA’s site)

    I talked to my wife who teaches in Boise and she has never raised any monies for the Children’s Fund through her students. But she did say “Jump Rope for Heart” is an event that raises money for the American Heart Association that many Boise Schools participate in. Her school does a walk-a-thon to raise money for the PTO and never sells any cookie dough or wrapping paper.

    Teaching our kids about charity is very important to me but there could be some standards implemented by the districts. Standard would alleviate parent’s concerns- whether it be about the organization or just having too many fundraisers.

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