The Bottom Line: An Interesting Meeting With the Principal of Russell County High School in Kentucky

I’ve had an incredibly busy week. I’ve not even blogged (and today is Thursday!) One of the many things I accomplished yesterday was going to get my son signed up for his classes for next year at the local high school. While there, I had a conversation with the principal about the possibility of Derrick leaving a couple weeks early to go to Colorado with my father.

I figure that a trip out west would probably be more educational than the last two weeks of school. I remember how little was actually accomplished the last couple of weeks, and apparently even less is accomplished these days if the tales my children tell me about watching movies and “free days” are valid.

The response I got was a bit surprising…

I got a few comments that I expected… that two weeks was a lot of school to miss. I knew that. The state testing is over by then, but finals aren’t. He didn’t feel that his teachers would have a final ready by then. I asked if a final were necessary, if he had straight A’s. I was told yes, the only way out of finals is an A average and no missed days of school that term. Derrick was sick one day, so that’s out.

I asked about what other arrangements could be made, since I don’t want him to miss this opportunity. I know I kept pushing, it’s what I do. But the response I got was not really one I expected. Now, I know that the schools are all about the money, but usually that’s an unspoken thing. Not this day.

The principal actually told my son and me that if he were to be absent that long that his school would lose about $1000.00 of income from the state. At that point the conversation was over. He said he would check with the Director of Student Personnel, but somehow I doubt (after the finance lesson) that anything will change there.

It’s good to know that the children’s education is what comes first. It’s good to know what my son is worth to the school.

Just a musing here… but isn’t that like slavery? To heck with what’s best for the children, what opportunities may be lost or forfeited, lets just keep our eye on the bottom line, shall we?

Now, I am a parent that objects to having children in public schools sell items to raise money. My feeling is, if you want money for a special club or project, ask me. I’ll give you cash. But don’t make mini-salesmen of my children without my permission. It bugs me. The focus on the financial end of education rather than the practical end also bugs me. And this, although it may be true, hurts my heart.

I wonder if I’d offered him the money he would “lose” for his school (never mind the fact that he wouldn’t be required to provide services during those days Derrick was gone), if he would have said “Oh, well this is obviously an opportunity the child shouldn’t miss!” and would have blessed the endeavor.


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