Friday, February 18, 2011

Equal Opportunity But Some Need Not Apply

I recently saw a promotional blurb on our county library's website that encourages high school seniors to write an essay for a scholarship contest.  The contest is sponsored by a local couple who gave the money.  It says:

This contest is sponsored by Dr. Barry and Velma B__________, F_________ County Public Schools and F___________ County Public Library

Yet, the contest is open to seniors from ONLY THREE of the County's 25+  high schools.

Is it just me, or does this fly in the face of what schools and libraries should be promoting?  I understand that donors can put strings on money they want to give away, but do the schools and library, publicly funded based on the idea of equal access, have to be part of it?  Is this discrimination?  Maybe not unlawful, but certainly not fair.

Or maybe I'm just upset because my child doesn't attend one of those schools?  True, there is an essay contest she can write for that is open only to children of military members -- which excludes a whole lot of people.  But that contest isn't being promoted through the COUNTY -- only through military channels.

It seems to me this should be administered and promoted through the PTA's of those three schools.

But, I admit, I am often wrong, and as I mature, I'm willing to listen to other points of view.

So bring 'em on!

p.s.  The designation of those three schools has nothing to do with income, race, etc.  The schools are in the catchment area right around where the donors live.



Robin said...

I think the donors do have the right to use the funds for students in their own neighborhoods, but then promoting it should be done via the schools. That just seems more reasonable.

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Mary said...

It doesn't seem quite fair. And, it does seem like a slap in the face to advertise it in the public library...why don't they just publicize it in the high schools that can participate?

quilly said...

I am thinking that you might want to ask the library why they are promoting this. It does seem like the publicity should have been confined to the schools involved and not broadcast to the county at large when most of them aren't eligible.

SouthLakesMom said...

Mary - my thoughts exactly

Quilly -- I did question it, and only the school system responded (with a completely unsat answer, i.e. it's a done deal, thank you for writing).

But, I am on the board of our local library, and have constant interactions with the head of our entire system, so I sent him a note asking if our Friends group could set up a scholarship open to ONLY the two high schools in our catchment area, and if not, why is the library system promoting that through this other scholarship. No answer yet.