So I know people live all over and I’m curious how normal (or not) this sounds to others.

My 2 older kids go to public elementary. We live in a zone where about 35-40% of kids are on free/reduced lunch. Many people are also well off.

Over the past couple years our PTA keeps ramping up the “pay to play” things. We have a big auction (expensive just to get in the door) and lots of “sign n go” parties where you pay a ticket price (sometimes steep) for the kid or parent to do a special event.

This year they added an auction item to bid on teacher for a day, across every teacher and staff member. Today is the day it’s happening. So the kids being celebrated are the kids whose parents were able/willing to spend the most money (several hundred minimum). They had an assembly this morning that was supposed to be for good behavior and school spirit wins, but a friend who went said it was overshadowed by the kids clapping for all the teacher for a day “winners”.

The optics of all this have been increasingly gross to me. It’s one thing for parents to bid on a trip or case of wine (although still, the $ amounts are exclusionary) but this happened so visibly in front of the kids (and will all day as those kids get special treatment).

I don’t think it’s a bad lesson for my kids to learn we can’t spend on everything (I didn’t bid on anything this year) but I do think it’s unfortunate to glorify kids whose parents spent the most. I know money is how the world works but UGH.

Is this normal? Would this fly at your public school? Seriously curious!!