Sunday, March 16, 2008

Last night Daisy's school held their annual auction fundraiser.

I think it went pretty well. I'm not exactly sure. I spent most of the time in the back room performing data entry, filing, and cashier tasks.

When I left it was close to midnight. Dozens of other parents stayed behind, dismantling displays, packing up, and cleaning. Hank left with me, but she had already logged 15 hours that day, having arrived before 9:00am. This is on top of the hundreds of hours she had spent over the previous months. She'll probably spend another 100 hours before the year is over. Several other parents were also team "leads" and spent ridiculous amounts of time on the auction and a couple may even have worked more than Hank.

The day of the auction more than 100 parents volunteered their time and skills to put on the event. Hundreds more actually attended the event and spent their hard-earned cash on items they probably didn't need. I mean, someone spent $450 to have Hank and me host a poker party for them and 9 of their friends. Come on!

So, I have a crazy idea.

What if,
  • instead of enlisting an army of parents to collectively work thousands of hours,
  • instead of badgering every friendly business in San Francisco to donate goods and services,
  • instead of further enriching schools with well-off parents and leaving poorer populations to flounder,
  • instead of duplicating this effort at EVERY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL I KNOW
what if we raised taxes and actually funded schools?

I know I'm just a tax and spend liberal, and I know that governments are relentlessly inefficient, but you're not going to convince me that this auction debacle is a more sane way to fund things like a school librarian, or pencils.

Until this situation is fixed, I'll keep having this conversation with my wife:

Me: Well, I'm going to put in some laundry, then clean up the kitchen, and then go grocery shopping. This afternoon, I'll bring Daisy over to see her cousins.
Hank: You should get a wife.

No kidding. Too bad the school auction ate mine.

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