I live in a suburb of the San Francisco Bay Area. I moved here from Oakland when my oldest kid was soon to start kindergarten. I couldn’t bear the thought of finding my way through the Oakland public school system and with the impending arrival of my 3rd kid we needed a bigger house so we defected to what I know refer to as Chichiville,
Out here inthe ‘burbs the houses are expensive, people drive high end cars and we have excellent public schools – schools that maintain their excellence at least in part by a high level of parental involvement and financial generosity. The trend over the last 5 or so years has been to establish an “education fund” that collects more money from every family at the beginning of the year than most American families spend on vacation. The money is then used to fund various programs. Raising half a million dollars for a district of 5 or 6 schools is not uncommon. For some, being the Ed fund treasurer means never having to take a second mortgage to fund the H2 or kitchen remodel you are lusting after.
Two cases showed up in the local paper just this week. Two separate Moms managing 2 separate funds have been charged. One of them stole $80,000 and the other stole $50,000. With all the stealth and cunning of a Navy Seal operation they simply wrote checks from the funds to themselves or deposited the checks made out to the funds into their own checking accounts – I’ve heard both stories.
Only one woman has been fully charged and named. A quick Google search shows that in addition to being treasurer of her local Education Fund, she was ‘Cheer Director’ of the local pee wee football league I wonder if she took odds on the games? I can see her on the sidelines now, screaming to little Johnny – “Run honey, run! FASTER!!! Mommy needs a new Thermador!”