Field trip money

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Ponypal, Jan 21, 2014.

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  1. Ponypal

    Ponypal Comrade

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    In the fall our primary grade level attended a field trip. I sent many reminders to a student who did not return the permission slip and money. Two days before the trip I received a note from the parent stating that the family didn't have the money. I went to the office and school nurse and after a lot of time was spent looking for the money, I was given the money by an unknown donor. I wrote a note to the parent and explained that the child could go and that funds were made available to her. There was never a word of thanks or appreciation to me. I thanked the people who I had contacted, hoping through them that the actual donor would be thanked.

    We will be having an annual spring field trip. In the past the teachers have had to pay for their own admission - which I think is ridiculous! I'm trying to get an idea of how to approach this next field trip money situation. I don't want to pay any more out of my own pocket. I had helped do this in the past and I'm no longer wanting to continue with that practice, especially when people aren't appreciative.

    Has this situation happened to anyone else, and can you please offer me some suggestions other than me paying for the student?
    Thank you!
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    For your own admission fees, can't you charge each kid an extra couple of bucks to cover yours?

    If a family can't pay and there is no money available to cover it, maybe the kid just doesn't go on the trip.
     
  4. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    It could be not that the family isn't appreciative, but more embarrassed at having to ask for help. Even a few dollars is a lot to some families.

    I used to take my class on a trip to a museum. They would give me free admission since we had all of the paying kids. Have you asked the location if they would do that? Sometimes they won't mention it, unless you ask specifically.
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    How much are these field trips? If the field trip is during the regular school day, NO CHILD SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO GO BECAUSE THEY CANNOT AFFORD IT.

    As for teachers paying, I don't agree with that either. The school or fundraising should cover it.
     
  6. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Why?

    Every year in our MS, we take a big end-of-the year field trip to places like Six Flags that cost at least $40 to go. If a kid can't pay and no one wants to pay for them, they stay behind. Even when it comes to cheaper trips to places downtown or into Washington D.C. ($10 to $20); we (teachers) can't afford to pay for every child that can't go. The school will not pay for it and teachers should not have to cover these costs.

    School buses alone cost $400 to $500 each, so we have to cover that cost. Also, we usually only get one or two buses due to their high cost so we want to limit the number of students who can go anyway.
     
  7. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    This.
     
  8. bros

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    Here, the district funds the buses for field trips.

    Of course, they have eliminated all field trips except for one in fourth grade and the senior trip for the high schoolers (The seniors raise money for the cost of the trip through fundraisers, if they raise enough the seniors going on the trip don't have to pay anything to go, they just have to pay extra for things like ski lessons or whatever. District pays for the buses.)
     
  9. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    May I be blunt? I think that's an ******* move. I'll write more when I'm not as upset.
     
  10. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I think that if it's a CLASS thing, I'm on JustMe's side. Ask the kids for money, but I think the school should cover it if they have any kids who can't afford it. On the other hand, if it's an extracurricular thing (for a club, for instance), I'd be ok with "don't pay, don't go." But I can't imagine having to be the one child who has to stay behind because my single mom works 2 jobs and can barely afford to feed/clothe us, let us think about field trip cash.
     
  11. YoungTeacherGuy

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    This!

    Here in my district, we may not exclude anyone who can't afford to pay! We offer fundraising opportunities and if the grade-level doesn't raise enough funds for the trip, teachers ask for parent donations (normally a buck or two). Even if a child doesn't bring in their dollar, they're still allowed to go (as it should be).

    I feel very, very strongly that students should not be excluded due to parents not being able to pay. Either everyone goes or no one goes (in my humble opinion). Thankfully, my district feels the same way I do.
     
  12. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    If the trip is part of the curriculum and the student is unable to pay then the school will pay. This is how it works in our district. Almost all teachers know who would have trouble paying. They only ask for a signed permission slip and get the money from the PTA, district treasurer, principal's discretionary fund or pay it themselves. We try very hard to keep trips within a reasonable cost, no more than $7. If there is a charge for teachers the district automatically pays.
     
  13. Go Blue!

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    Maybe when you teach ELEM and there are only 30 kids in a class, you may only have a few who can't pay, so then teachers or the school will find a way to cover it.

    But, at the MS or HS level, a class trip could be over 100 students and most of our trips at the MS level are open to 6 through 8 graders - whoever brings their money in first gets to go. For the kids who can't afford it, we can't cover those costs.

    It's never one or two kids; if it's less than five, usually teachers/staff will pitch in and pay especially if only one class is going or its a small, select group. But, this is rare because most of our trips are for an entire grade-level and I work in a low-income environment so, usually, about half of the kids can't afford to go.
     
  14. Go Blue!

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    My school is "broke" as my Admin is always reminding us. Our "PTA" has no money. Our district claims to be over-budget, so they are definitely not paying for teachers to go on trips and that's why schools have to pay for their own yellow busses.

    Also, we have tons of kids who would have trouble paying for trips. Yet, you never know what parents will pay for or spend money on ...
     
  15. JustMe

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    I taught middle school for several years and was in charge of planning and managing the field trips. I would NEVER allow a student to miss a field trip due to lack of money. And half the grade level not being able to participate? I think that's shameful.
     
  16. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I think all kids should be able to go. I've worked in schools in two different states, but at both schools, the PTA/PTO would step up and cover the cost if a child could not afford it.

    For expensive field trips, we always had candy bar sale options. Growing up, I went to Cedar Point for a field trip in 6th, 7th, 8th, and 12th grade. My mom never paid a dime- I sold candy bars every single time.
     
  17. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    I completely agree. When planning trips the teachers at my school look at the cost and consider will this be a hardship for most or just two or three. My school provides the transportation for school trips so in that area we are fortunate. This year our superintendent is encouraging class trips. Most of our trips consist of seeing a musical performance, going to a museum, a nature center or farm, or a historical site.
     
  18. Go Blue!

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    But, it is what it is.

    It can cost $1,000 alone to get two yellow busses to take 100 kids somewhere. That does not include any other costs. Even if a trip is $10 dollars and 20 can't pay - who is going to cover that $200? My school or PTA - which are "broke?" No. And, we don't take many trips at my school, but we don't want a situation where staff is paying for all the kids who can't pay every trip - that's unfair.
     
  19. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    It is what it is because adults allow it. I would raise Hell over this.
     
  20. Honest_Teacher

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    And nobody would get to go on the trip?
     
  21. JustMe

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    Fine.
     
  22. i8myhomework

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    I think it's terrible if some students can't go due to finances, but unfortunately that is a part of life. It's better they learn that lesson sooner rather than later.
     
  23. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    You teach five year old children who know little about how this world works. They are not learning a life lesson. They're just sad they have to sit in a first grade classroom all day until the rest of the kids come back with a baby pumpkin from the pumpkin patch (or whatever). And even older students... I cannot fathom convincing myself it's okay that a few seventh graders can't go to the state capital because their parents can't (or won't) afford it since it's a fact of life they need to learn sooner or later.

    This makes me really disappointed.
     
  24. Pashtun

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    I would never design a field trip knowing some students would not be able to go due to financial reasons. Everyone goes or no one goes.
     
  25. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    We always have kids who can't go to DC for our trip. I can't imagine telling everyone they can't go. For many, this is the first trip they've ever been on. There are fundraising opportunities. Out of 120 kids we usually have about 20 stay for various reasons (some parents don't let them go).

    For smaller trips, I agree everyone should go. But I certainly don't have the funds to cover it.
     
  26. YoungTeacherGuy

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    In 8th grade, we had an opportunity to travel to New York with a club I belonged to (California Junior Scholarship Federation). I wanted to go very badly, but my parents made me participate in different fundraisers to cover the (many) costs. They gave me spending money, of course, but I'm glad they made me participate in fundraising because it taught me responsibility.

    I know I mentioned this in an earlier post, but I'll reiterate: For trips where the entire class or grade-level is supposed to attend, it should be all or no one!
     
  27. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    I feel a lot how you do and I feel that it is unfair. Truthfully, I have never been in a situation where one of my students could not participate in something due to finances. If that were the case I'm sure I would do my best to figure out a solution. I'd probably just pay.

    The part we disagree on is the "If some go, we all should go" mentality. That's not how life is. Same when other students whine because "Suzy has a Hello Kitty notebook and I don't. I have a plain one." Well, what is the solution?

    Some mommy and daddies have money. Some don't. Some kids miss out on activities, some don't.

    I'm not trying to be harsh. Honestly. I don't think it's right but it is what it is. Please give five year olds more credit. They can realize and understand a lot more than you think they can.
     
  28. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I have years of experience with kindergarten/primary students. Of course they understand a lot and learn a great deal. But they still try to buy books at a book fair with a button or nickel... They don't usually truly understand why their families are poor, what that really means, and why that has anything to do with missing a field trip.
     
  29. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    We'll have to agree to disagree.
     
  30. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Yes.
     
  31. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    In my town many civil organizations like the Elks, Rotary, American Legion, and the Lions will often times help a child who is having difficulty paying for an expensive trip like some of you go on. Also, my church has also helped some of it's young people when they were not able to come up with the funds needed. Usually the guidance counselor makes the call on behalf of the teacher. And they don't have to know where the money came from.
     
  32. 2ndTimeAround

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    In my area the vast majority of field trips are no-cost or very low cost ($3 or so). The PTAs have been very willing to cover a few extra tickets in those cases, no questions asked.

    There are larger trips that cost more money. They are always announced at the start of the year and occur at the end. Teachers send reminders throughout the school year so it is never a financial surprise come April. The cost is about $60 per student. It is announced at Open House and grade-level parent meetings. Inevitably there are mothers that have received freebies in years past without question that assume their children will go for free. Teachers know their students (and many parents) by that time. They are pretty good at separating the needy from the greedy.

    I have known students that were "unable" to attend because they "could not" pay. Yet they had $200 sneakers and the newest electronic gadgets. I have never known a student to be left behind when his/her parents truly could not afford the trip.
     
  33. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I get the expensive cost of the buses, but it seems pretty terrible to hope for some kids to miss out on a fun learning experience because they can't afford it. It's not their fault. My school is a Title 1 school and we find the way to fund for kids who can't pay, not out of teachers' pockets. Not saying you should have to pay but maybe the school as a whole needs to look into their policies. The kids who can't afford it are probably the ones who need the fun experience the most because they're most likely the ones who won't see the inside of a museum or the like with their families.
     
  34. dgpiaffeteach

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    Does that apply to kids who aren't allowed to go? We have kids who would love to go, but their parents aren't okay with them spending the night anywhere like with our DC trip.
     
  35. Go Blue!

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    Why is that fine? Because you, the adult, can't get what you want?

    If its such a big deal, you (and you alone) pay for all the kids who can't go. Don't expect your co-workers to come up with hundreds of dollars out of pocket each trip.
     
  36. Go Blue!

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    This is unreasonable and not fair to the kids who want to go more expensive places like theme parks. Especially since these are incentive trips.

    What about kids who have to stay behind because of poor behavior? They don't have to go, right?
     
  37. Go Blue!

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    So if you plan a trip the kids are looking forward to and 30 or 20 out of 100 can't afford to go - you just cancel the trip? Really? That's unfair. Or do you expect teachers to pay for it?

    Also, what about kids that can't go because of poor behavior? You are ok with them staying behind?
     
  38. gr3teacher

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    The idea of telling an elementary student that they can't go on a field trip because their parents can't pay is absolutely unconscionable to be, and as a teacher, I would refuse to chaperon a field trip where such a thing happened. Of course, I'd never schedule a class field trip where there was a realistic possibility of some kids being left behind.

    It's different for an optional field trip, or a field trip attached to an extracurricular activity, but I would never tell one of my third graders they couldn't go on a field trip because of money. Absolutely not.
     
  39. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    All of our field trips must be curriculum-related and we must keep cost in mind when planning trips. If students aren't able to attend because of cost, the school will try to cover. For expensive trips, like the grade 8 overnight trip, the parents are asked to cover part of the cost and the school will try to cover the rest. Because our trips are related to curriculum, we must provide alternative activities, that cover the same material, for students who do not go on a trip.
     
  40. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Right. Clearly I'm being selfish here and thinking about what I want. :rolleyes:

    I never once said teachers should pay for the students. Although I have several times and so have my colleagues. I send two students to 4H camp each year (and no even knows I do this). I know others do similar things. This isn't about me paying or not paying or other teachers funding the activities. It's about a crap policy. If a school couldn't find a way to ensure all students attended regular field trips, I'd happily cancel all trips.
     
  41. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Well, I'm sure we're both glad we don't work together ...
     
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