Is your free public school feeling a little less free these days? I stumbled across this news about parents at Miramar Ranch Elementary School feeling pressured to give money to the school fundraiser, lest their kids go unsupervised at lunchtime:

One parent in particular who donated money told News 8, “I felt pressured to pay the $180 pledge, since they threatened to not watch my child during lunch.”

Parents are talking about a fundraising flyer that stated: “Without the proceeds from this pledge drive, our children are likely to go without services and equipment such as supervision at lunch.

The story says that San Diego Unified spokesman Jack Brandais apologized, emphasizing that students have to be supervised, whether or not you pony up extra cash.

In light of the budget cuts that schools have already suffered and indications that more cuts are to come, I wouldn’t be surprised if you have your own stories about schools in San Diego County banking more and more on private money to pay for the arts, music and even the essentials.

Do you have any thoughts or opinions on the extra fundraising your public school is doing to try to stay afloat? Are you frustrated that you can’t raise money in rough economic times? Do you fret that your school can’t match the fundraising prowess of schools in wealthier areas? Please send me an e-mail with your thoughts at


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