sábado, 8 de noviembre de 2014

Thanks, Gobernator!


Every year, in October or so, we get this box of school supplies, thanks to the state government.  
I´m always left a little bewildered. 

This year´s box included blank paper, a box of crayons, an abacus, a notebook, a book, and a bilingual memory game.  Last year´s box was better assorted, including a pencil, scissors, glue, and a jar of paint.  But I do like the addition of the book this year. 

In the two years that I´ve experienced this, the teachers send the box home with us.  

They don´t ask for us to bring any of these supplies back to school.  

In the meantime, I´m spending every morning and lots of evenings of every other week making, buying ingredients for, and serving lunch for the kids at school, as a fundraiser for the PTA.  We´re hoping to build a little fence for the entrance to the school and repair some of the walls that surround the school.  

However, it seems that every other week, the principal is hit up with telephone bills.  Or the cleaning lady needs a new mop.  Or the printer needs ink.  Or someone broke into the school and we have to replace a window.  As far as I understand, the principal has very few funds to pay for these expenses, apart from the Parents´ Association.  It seems that the federal government pays for the building of the building and the teachers´ salaries.  The rest (including maintenance) is up to the parents.  And it doesn´t appear that the parents are very well informed of this, as those of us relying on the public school rally to that item in the constitution that declares that every Mexican child is entitled to a FREE, secular education.  

But who cares if the toilets flush?

So, instead of sending home thousands of boxes of vaguely useful school supplies, wouldn´t that money be better spent on giving every school a few mops and bottles of bleach every year?  Or simply let the teachers keep the school supplies, to suppliment for those students who never did bring in their list of school supplies at the beginning of the school year?  

Leaves me baffled. 

But, as my husband says, at least we´re getting something for our taxes.  After all, many of Mexico´s more famous politicians (decades ago, of course) just took our taxes and funneled them to private bank accounts in Switzerland.  

So we´re enjoying our abacus. 

But the school still needs a new mop. 

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Note to any immigration authorities who may read this:  this post is in no way a critique on any branch of the Mexican government, merely passing observations.