The New York Times published an exposé about parents fed up with the intense pressure to volunteer at their children’s schools.
I myself have had to say no to volunteering at neighborhood schools, as has my husband. Largely, we’ve said no because we work, and, you know, also because we actually do not have children.
Of course, this being the New York Times, the only parents mentioned were moms, and the only times dads came up is when they were blaming their wives (or leaving them) for spending too much time volunteering. And, most of the moms were of the stay-at-home variety, though working moms and moms with flexible part-time jobs were mentioned.
With the holidays approaching, the call for parental help at school has reached a fever pitch, but this demand is not just seasonal. As local and state economies continue to struggle, budget cuts to rich and poor school systems are increasing the reliance on unpaid parent help.
True taxation without representation (which is actually what the original tea party activists opposed) is forcing parents to make up the gap in education funding with donated labor and endless fundraisers.
How many of these moms who have time, because of their relatively privileged socio-economic status, to devote days to volunteering at their children’s schools, vote Republican? How many reflexively oppose raising taxes?
We pay somewhere. If schools were adequately funded, there would still be requests for parents to run the fall festival or book fair, but the classroom basics would not be the casualty if the festivals and fairs fell short of their fundraising goals.
The NYT article mentions that many mommy bloggers are writing about their true feelings about volunteering. As in, they’d rather not.
I’m going to try to find some mommy blogs writing about this and gently propose, through comments (assuming they don’t just mark me as spam), that perhaps they should write whichever of the 42 Senate Republicans represents them and say enough already with the bogus anti-tax stance.
Maybe we can win a few more women voters over to the progressive side of the ballot by making explicit the connection between schools’ demands for free labor and reactionary politicians’ refusal to adopt a tax structure that adequately funds the common good.