The latest school fund raiser

It seems that the latest way round here to raise money for the schools is to make a deal with a local energy company. They give preferential rates to the families affiliated with a certain school. Some schools have gone so far as to threaten re-evaluation of financial aid agreements if the parents refuse to switch to the specific company and lock into that specific rate.

Can they even do that? What if you have children in four different schools who all have a deal with four different companies – all at different rates. Obviously, IF you are going to switch you will choose the lowest rate, no? But what about the other 3 schools? Can they really re-evaluate a parent’s signed agreement if they do not switch? Isn’t this akin to extortion?

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  1. batya from NJ says:

    that sounds TOTALLY bizarre & i can’t say i’ve EVER heard of that one b/f. i am sure since you have kids in 2 different schools you can choose the one with the lower price & explain to the other school that since you have kids in another school that has this requirement you obviously must go with the more economical one & you obviously cannot sign up with 2 different suppliers so hopefully they will be understanding…i am still shaking my head ‘cuz that’s a new one for me & i thought i heard them all ;)!!

  2. le7 says:

    I guess what I’m trying to figure out is – how does this raise money for the schools?

    • batya from NJ says:

      le7, my guess is that the school would get a kick-back of some percentage or another of each family’s energy bill. at my kid’s elementary school, we are obligated to spend $7500 worth of supermarket scrip which basically requires us to purchase gift cards from the school for specific stores (eg pathmark, shoprite, B&N, etc) & then those stores donate 5% of all of the gift card purchases back to the school. another option that we parents have if we don’t want to deal with the headache of scrip is to just pay $375 in addition to our hefty tuition bills but personally, i spend enough money on grocery shopping at participating stores so i have no problem meeting my scrip obligation. it becomes problematic for parents who send their kids to more than 1 elementary school it can become a real burden & expense b/c most of the schools in my NJ area require scrip from all of the families in the school & there is no financial aid for scrip so if you don’t spend the $7500 in grocery bills & other participating scrip shops, you MUST pay the $375 although they will pro-rate it for you. for example, if you spend only $5000 in grocery scrip per school year but not the rest you just pay 5% of the remaining balance of $2500 etc…
      anyhow, this new energy company fund-raiser is a new one & i hope the idea doesn’t travel over to NJ ;)!

  3. Estee Lavitt says:

    I hate when schools promote a private company. Parents feel like they have little choice. It is okay to make me aware but not to suggest I use a particular service or company. I agree that this is completely unfair and insensitive of the schools.

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