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Should Schools Charge for Activities?


halobb November 16, 2012

We're coming from an elementary school where things like the band performances are held in the evening for families. These events are free to the public, so we could easily encourage extended family to come and support the students...and the school.

We're now at a middle school and my daughter's winter performances are scheduled for right before the holidays. When I went to pick her up, I noticed the flyer stating that the school is charging $5 in advance and $7 at the door.

I feel like if we invite family or friends to this concert, we're going to have to pay for the tickets. I'd never think to charge my friends for attending.

Do most schools do this? I feel like they could get baked goods and donate that way. And we just did a very costly giftwrap sale as well.

Thanks in advance.

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TeacherParent November 22, 2012

Schools are feeling the pinch in these times - you might ask the school why it charges. It doesn't seem right to charge parents - is the school saying you can't see the performance without paying even if you're a school parent?
That would be remarkable and remarkably inappropriate. A parent should not be denied seeing their child's school performance.


PTAmomof4 November 25, 2012

With the exception of high school shows, this is the first I have heard of it and it sounds like a terrible idea. The school runs the risk of discouraging even parents to attend their children's (probably the most at-risk) concerts at a time when they need the most encouragement. These performances are often required for school credit as well so it puts the child in an awkward position.

Your ideas are good ones and I would like to add 50/50 raffles (most winners yell "keep it!") and selling school spirit wear.


jcbruder November 26, 2012

On the other hand, the school may charge to use the facilities, and if so then the band or any other organization may have to pay these fees. There are charges for lighting, custodial and other services the school must provide. Unless the fee is really high, it sounds as if the charges are justified. My elementary school child is in a play every year, and we have to pay for the tickets. The organizer may make a little money, but any extra goes right back into the program.


halobb November 26, 2012

Thank you for the suggestions.

I will talk to the music director. We did receive a note to help by donating baked goods for a bake sale too. This is a school function--the kids in the school band, strings and percussion programs are performing, and while it won't help us, I do worry about families who can not afford to attend.


roseinparadise December 1, 2012

No but they do. My son's in middle school and is in his 2nd year of band so this year, it's mandatory and part of his grade to play at the games. When we went to the first football game of the season, I was shocked when they charged his dad and me $7.00 each! It's unacceptable to me that we had to pay fourteen dollars so I could watch my son perform! The worst of it? The band didn't play on the field...they sat in the very back of the bleachers!!! So we didn't even get to watch him perform! To top it off, they were also selling "books" for $5.00 had the cheerleaders and football players in it and upcoming events, but ya know what? The band members weren't featured in it ANYWHERE!!! So no, I definitely don't agree with them charging for stuff like that. I have one child in Elementary School and the other in Middle School...believe me, they are always bringing home things for fundraisers and t-shirts, yearbooks...anything that takes money. In just the first three months of school, we've bought school pictures, yearbooks, t-shirts and more t-shirts and I can't even tell you how much money we've spent! The schools get a percentage of everything they send home for sale! So why should we have to pay to watch our children perform in plays or at games or anywhere else? These are our children...of course we want to be there for them. And because of our love for them, we parents are being taken advantage of!


MagnetMom December 1, 2012

My daughter just performed in her first instrumental concert at middle school, and there was a bake sale, tickets to purchase, and silent auction baskets to bid on. I baked, we bought the tickets, but the baskets didn't interest us, so we did what we could.

I know schools are between a rock and a hard place financially, but I'm less than thrilled. There were many parents working the tables, so I suspect some of the families working would have done so and gotten in free. I'm hoping they did not turn anyone away.

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