I agree with all of the WTU’s points here regarding Walmart’s well-financed efforts to undermine public education. Their latest back to school gimmick is a cynical ploy to feign support for public school teachers, while offering very little of actual value in return.
A quote from a charter school supporter is particularly interesting:
“All of our schools are funded on a per-pupil basis,” said Irene Holtzman, executive director of Friends of Choice in Urban Schools, a D.C. charter-school advocacy organization. “Charters are not taking away money from DCPS.”
We could certainly debate how much money is being diverted from public to charter schools on the whole. Yet, there is no denying that some money is being diverted from the traditional, public system when appreciable numbers of students are removed from charters after “count day,” and the money is retained by the charter. It does not follow the student, even on a pro-rated basis.
Then, from DCPS:
“DCPS has increased our investments in schools every year for the last five years to ensure that our schools and classrooms have the materials needed for high-quality teaching and learning,” spokeswoman Michelle Lerner said. “We also provide every teacher with $200 to supply their individual classrooms with school supplies.”
I do appreciate the Office Depot gift card every year. It helps a little, but this is a tremendous deal for Office Depot, where you can’t get the best deals. You end up spending more on the basics since you can’t shop around.
I’d also like to recommend any DCPS official read my evolving and updated back to school shopping list, nothing of which being purchased with that handy little card. It’s all out of pocket. If we had everything we needed, I wouldn’t be doing this.
But let’s talk about the materials that I supposedly have to teach. Let’s not dither over pencils and folders. What about the big ticket items? When will DCPS replace my cracked tables and bent chairs? I had a table leg come off last year.
Will DCPS replace my rugs that cost roughly $400 apiece? No? Then I’ll have to do what I do every year: get down on my hands and knees and scrub them clean with a brush because our custodial staff doesn’t have the equipment to clean them. One year I rented, again out of my pocket, a carpet cleaning machine from Home Depot. Maybe I’ll have to do a wet/dry vacuum this year.
For me, vacuuming the rat turds doesn’t cut it. You kind of have to scrub the hell out of the area, right? I mean, that’s the proper thing to do.