Opinion....field trips and $$$$

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by ecteach, Sep 25, 2014.

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  1. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    When I taught MS and we had instructional trips; we didn't have a handful of kids who couldn't afford to go (or claimed they couldn't afford it) - we had tons. We don't have a PTA that raises money or has bake sales; I don't know what they do, if they do anything. Our P has said time and time again that the school doesn't have any money for trips (the $500 for buses specifically).

    I guess teachers could find ways to raise money, but if you have 50 kids that can't (or won't) pay, that's $500 dollars they have to raise for each $10 trip. Why is this the teachers' responsibility to raise this money? We only did about 2 or 3 educational trips a year when I taught MS and the kids that couldn't afford to pay stayed behind unless a teacher paid for them personally.

    It may be cold-hearted, but it is what it is.
     
  2. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    So those who can afford field trips can go or not go, and those who truly can't go on a field trip don't go on the field trip? So the extras in education are only for those who can afford it?

    I am sure you agree that there are some parents who can't afford it out there. I have a good friend who manages apartments, and he tells me that there is not a month that goes by that the company doesn't evict families from their apartments who don't pay rent in each apartment complex they own. If one can't pay their rent, I am sure a field trip will be rough also.
     
  3. Sugar

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    It was ambiguous because you threw in the idea that states should require districts to set aside money for those on free and reduced lunches and then said those not receiving free or reduced lunch are to be left behind in study hall. So you didn't directly answer my question in your first attempt but instead proposed an idea for states to implement.

    But you have now answered and my question. And suddenly I know a lot more about you.
     
  4. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    That's why there should be a fund for students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, paid for by the district, for these students to go. Those who truly cannot afford to go can have these scholarships awarded them. Those who can afford, but simply won't pay because they know they'll get a free ride (which is most of them) won't go.
     
  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Yes. I proposed a solution. That's nice that we're getting to know each other.
     
  6. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Hey, we finally are coming close to agreeing. I agree with that, and I agree the district would be the ideal. If not, the school would be fine IMO.
     
  7. Sugar

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    And it's a great idea. But most schools don't have such a fund. You're okay with that because you would simply have the six year old remain at school in study hall while his friends went to the zoo (as you explained earlier). And I'm not okay with that at all. I'm not even okay with you being okay with it, so I'm staying inside my happy little bubble for the rest of the day so I won't keep thinking about this.
     
  8. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    So my middle class family should buy our own lunches and breakfasts and band instruments and field trips. Scrimp and save to do so. And the kids with free lunch go for free? How is that fair? My husband and I have three jobs between us and our teenager works a part time job for spending money. We barely get by some months. We have an old house in not the best neighborhood, with a leaking roof and electrical problems. We don't struggle?
     
  9. live

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    My school actually has a fund set aside for families who can't pay (elementary title 1). If a student just doesn't bring the money or permission slip, they can't go. But a family truly is unable to pay, the school is happy to accommodate them.

    With that said, we've gone on field trips where the cost ranged from free (grants) to $15. We go on a lot of field trips.
     
  10. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Unfortunately, when I taught at a Title I school, we were expected to pay for students who couldn't go. It wasn't anything official, but it was the culture of the school. When I refused to do that for 10 of my 20 kids for a $5 field trip because all of the students who had not paid for the field trip had $5 for pizza money the day before, I was called selfish and told I wasn't being a team player. Since so many of my kids weren't going, I stayed back with them and a para went with my class on the trip. The trip which had been my idea and which I had done all of the work for. I left that school at the end of the year.
     
  11. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    You can't draw a line in the sand and say only free and reduced lunch kids can't afford field trips. My school serves many blue collar families, and we would be Title 1, except we can't get enough parents to turn their lunch forms in. For many of them, they would rather go without an extra than accept free lunch. In today's world, families at all income levels have to prioritize their spending, and it would definitely stink to explain to your child that they can't go on a field trip because Mom and Dad barely make too much money for free lunch and must pay the light bill instead of the field trip.

    It really saddens me to read some of these responses.
     
  12. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I would love to take my students out of the classroom and learn in the field. This sounds like a great idea. As it stands we do no field trips at all.
     
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    If you're struggling that much maybe you should apply for free or reduced lunch.
     
  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    It would stink, but why drag all other students down with you?
     
  15. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    To those who are against the "if you can't pay, you can't go" model, I have a question. Those who stated they use (or would use) this policy also stated that the district does not supply any money for field trips. Would you (as parents, educators or both) be more comfortable with no students going on these experiences at all rather than leave some behind?

    I've been lucky enough to be able to fundraise money for field trips so I don't have to ask students to kick in, but I don't know which side I'd fall on if that money dries up. My district gives nothing. I'd hate to leave students behind because they couldn't pay, but isn't it just as unfair to take the chance to see the nation's capital away from the other kids? I honestly don't know which side I'd fall on.
     
  16. 2ndTimeAround

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    Some districts have worked around this issue by having expensive field trips take place over the weekend. This supposedly keeps kids that can't afford to go, from feeling left out. But it makes teachers work extra hours during the week.
     
  17. Jem

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    The factual answer is we are out of school for the minutes we are on the field trip. But missing instructional time? I wouldn't think so.

    Our trips are as follows:

    KAZU NPR Radio Station: learn about broadcasting and communicating information using technology (CCSS standard) so we can podcast in our classroom-free

    Monterey Bay Aquarium: Hands-on lab taught by the museum staff regarding animal adaptations due to the living environments of the animals-free

    LIMPETS Data Collection: Trip to our local beach where students are taught how to collect data on sand crabs along the waterline. Students are given a sampling area, digging tools and information on how to tell if the crab is a baby, female, female with eggs or male. We then graph our data using computers. (twice-fall and spring, compare and contrast data)-free

    Santa Cruz Museum of History: Museum workshop on Manifest Destiny using primary sources-maps, journals, etc, and then a workshop on how to learn about history in graveyards-$4 a child

    Livermore Lab: Chemistry field trip including explosions that are too dangerous to do at our school-free

    NASA Ames Lab: 6 stations that include an anti-gravity chair, introducing students to astronomy concepts-free

    Holiday Caroling at local retirement home: Community outreach, serves as our classroom holiday party-free

    Apple Store: Learn how to use both iMovie and Garage Band, can apply this on our classroom iPads when we get back to the classroom. Again, using technology to communicate information. (twice-fall and spring)-free

    Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History: Workshop on food chains-free

    Raging Waters Water Park: 5th Grade Graduation, not my decision-free

    I think we also have a trip to the courthouse so the kids can participate in a mock trial and a tour of the police station as a part of DARE.

    There were actually many other free trips that I could have gone on and skipped-natural reserves, kayacking we ask a local adventure company to donate the service), visiting the Elephant Seals along the coast, tidepooling.

    But then our school (public, not magnet) is heavily into field trips, assemblies, guest speakers and outside programs. We don't do any extra testing, either, which frees up a lot of time.

    These trips do make it so that you have to stay very disciplined with your pacing guide, or you won't get everything in. Add in 8 weeks of DARE (an hour each week), two days a week where sections of your class is leaving for instrumental music workshop and other various craziness and it gets to be a lot.
     
  18. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    We don't meet the income qualifications or we would. I never struggled until we had kids. A family is expensive, not that I'd change anything.
     
  19. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    When you base educational opportunities on income, you are denying opportunities to those who may need it the most. I can afford, and do, take my children to museums etc on the weekend to enrich their learning. If I feel a field trip would substantially enhance the education of one student in my class, shouldn't all students be able to get that opportunity?

    The bottom line is, children suffer for the actions of their parents. It's not a first grader's fault Mom can't pay. It's not up to me to judge why the money didn't come in.

    I think I'm just going to have to agree to disagree.
     
  20. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    It's not. It's also not your responsibility to pay for the frivolity of the parents or for children who are not your own.
     
  21. Sugar

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    I'm back outside my happy bubble. You seem pretty set on thinking that every poor person is a foolish loser. You have much to learn and experience.
     
  22. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I think you will find I am far from that mindset.
     
  23. Sugar

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    Read your posts in this thread.

    (Oops, I corrected my grammar in my previous post. That was pretty awful. Lol.)
     
  24. Go Blue!

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    Good point.

    I think some people here have never worked at a Title 1 school where over half of a class can't afford to go on a trip and there is no PTA or school funds for these kids. If five kids can't afford a $10 trip, that is one thing (I've also had to pay for kids to go on trips). But, if 50 to 100 kids can't afford to go, that is a whole other problem.

    In these cases, it is left up to the teacher (not the PTA, school or parents) to either come up with the funds for the kids who can't go or leave them behind. I don't think it's fair that teachers have to make this their responsibility for every trip.
     
  25. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I am torn on this issue.

    As a parent, I want my child to experience these sorts of enrichment activities. I would be very disappointed to learn that class trips were cancelled because of the choices of other parents. That's not fair to my kid.

    As a teacher, I am not in a position to pay for many students to go on a class trip. A couple of bucks here or there, no problem, but potentially hundreds of dollars or more? No.

    Ideally the school would be able to pick up the slack and pay for any student whose family was not able to pay for a field trip. My own school does not have any sort of official fund or PTA, but we do have "student-generated funds", which is mostly money from vending machines and whatnot. If admin is supportive, there is often a way for them to find money, as long as it's not hundreds or thousands of dollars. As a related example, I am giving my students the opportunity to participate in a special event later this year at the cost of $5 per student. My admin already told me to identify students whose families are experiencing a financial hardship so that my admin can pay for those students. While I don't always love everything my admin does, I do believe that they usually have the best interests of students in mind, and stuff like this demonstrates that.
     
  26. Go Blue!

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    Exactly.

    Who is supposed to fund these trips for the kids that don't pay with no PTA/school support? Teachers? Every single time?

    Especially in Title 1 schools were many kids will claim they cannot afford to go?
     
  27. Peregrin5

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    I am aware of what I have written. In every case, I mentioned that I am sure that there are those who cannot help the situation they are in. However I also feel there are a large number that simply make poor decisions, or feel that their personal toys are more important than paying for their child's educational experiences.

    That is a far cry from "every poor person is a foolish loser". If you continue to speak in absolutes you begin to see everyone's positions in terms of absolutes. You should beware of that.

    More specifically, in the post you just quoted, I was responding to agdamity stating that "children suffer for the actions of their parents". These actions she is referring to are more likely to be actions of frivolity in the context of how she mentioned them. Therefore I referenced that frivolity.
     
  28. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I don't think the teacher should personally fund those students. I do think teachers should consider the cost before selecting field trips. For instance, last year my grade level was excited about one possible trip until we learned it was $20 a student. We quickly ruled that out. The trip we ended up going on was $6 per student, and just as educational.
     
  29. Sugar

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    The fact that you want six year olds to stay in a study hall if their parents cannot afford a trip in a school that has no other systems in place for those unable to pay makes me view everything else you say in a certain light. And I certainly believe you have made some harsh, judgmental statements. I will simply ignore additional comments as to not misinterpret your intentions if that's what's happening.
     
  30. gr3teacher

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    He's not saying that as though it's a positive outcome... more that it's an unfortunate effect sometimes.

    All the field trips I take are fairly cheap, and the PTA would pick up for any kids that couldn't pay. But if my only three choices were:

    1) I pay hundreds out of my own pocket for kids to attend a field trip
    2) Kids that can't pay, can't go on a field trip
    3) No field trip

    I don't know whether I'd go with option 2 or 3, but I sure as hell wouldn't go with option 1. Sorry.
     
  31. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I have taught in a Title 1 school. Never were teachers asked to pay for field trips for students. We went on very few field trips, and the few we went on-were around $5 and most parents paid for them and the few who didn't, we had bake sales or sold some food item to pay for it. Once I had 25 students and 7 brought in $$$. (the amount asked was less than $5). I gave them until such and such a date or the $$$ would be refunded or the trip cancelled. Only one more child brought in $$$ so we cancelled the trip. No tears were shed.

    The idea of separating students on whose parents pay and those who don't is repulsive to me. Either all should go or no one.

    Once again, I don't think any teacher believes teachers should be the ones footing the bill.
     
  32. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    That's great that is your reality. For many of us, it's very different. After spending a few hundred dollars over only a couple of years on money for field trips, I stopped teaching at Title I schools. While I know this is not always the case, it is the culture at that school, and many in this area, that kids have money for pizza day every week, and some families spend hundreds of dollars at the field day carnival, but teachers are expected to buy basic supplies for students and pay for field trips if parents choose not to or cannot. I did not paying for those whose parents genuinely could not. Those parents always sent notes explaining the situation, and I happily paid. I resented paying for those kids who would just show up on field trip day with a signed permission slip and no money, but have pizza money the next day. I couldn't afford to keep teaching where I was expected to give so much financially.
     
  33. 2ndTimeAround

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    I've not had to pay for field trips but I did work in a school whose culture was that I bought school supplies for students out of my own money. And lab supplies. And copy paper and printer ink.

    None of my students were on free or reduced lunch. All of my students that year had better cellphones than I did. Yet about 10% couldn't afford a pencil for class. And when they did get a pencil, they somehow lost it before the next day.

    So I can definitely see teachers being "required" to pay for field trips.
     
  34. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    So, here's why I asked....
    My child has 2 separate $250 field trips this year. These are not for clubs or special groups; they are his grade level trips. They stay overnight for both trips. I'm shocked!! I can't imagine that this is easy for parents, but who am I? I won't be that parent who makes waves, but in my opinion it is completely ridiculous. Of cousrse they tell you that if you have financial issues to let them know, but who really feels right doing that?
     
  35. Sugar

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    I agree on both counts. If it's not during the instructional day, I can accept not everyone getting to experience certain things.

    I grew up poor, but I am now in the position to help others often. I have paid for many field trips and sent students to the much more expensive 4H and the Fish and Wildlife camp. I have bought students clothing, toiletries, food, and things for fun. Did some of the students have parents mismanaging money? Absolutely. Were some on drugs? Yes. All the more reason for me to help those innocent children. Did I have to do any such things including paying for inexpensive field trips? No. Our school would have somehow covered it, but I just figured I'd pay since I could and leave more money in the pool for students in a class with a teacher who would not or could not pay. I don't think teachers should be required to pay. Not sure anyone here does. But to coldly dismiss the circumstances our children are born into? Sad.

    I remember the guilt in telling my parents a field trip was coming up and I'd need four bucks. It was an awful burden for a child. I hated my parents feeling bad about not being able to pay for this or that. I played sick one field trip day to save Mom a few dollars. I know not everyone can help (and others just won't), but I will do my best to make sure other kids don't experience what I did.
     
  36. Sugar

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    Ridiculous.
     
  37. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    We all take our trips in the spring. I try to keep it cheap. The last two years I have toured a horse farm, ice cream factory, and went to an award winning park. All for free. Parents were grateful and all could attend. This year I am going to see if I can do the same and maybe a paying trip.
     
  38. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    OK, I am just curious. What kind of trips and what ages are we talking about? It is one thing if you are talking senior trip, but I am trying to wrap my head around what other kind of excursions rate that kind of outlay of money. Just thought I would satisfy my curiosity.
     
  39. Go Blue!

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    So you are ok with no field trips at all if everyone can't go?

    What an awful rule.
     
  40. Sugar

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    I know I wasn't asked, but to be clear where I stand: if schools will not find or make a way for every student to experience field trips during the school day, I am not only okay with no trips but I would hope for that. I thinks it's awful that there are teachers who find it acceptable for kids to stay back in "study hall" because their parents can't or won't afford the field trip. Truly awful.
     
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