THE BLOG
08/15/2013 05:18 pm ET Updated Oct 15, 2013

Time to $hop for $chool $upplies!

TO: ALL PUBLIC SCHOOL PARENTS

FROM: ALL PUBLIC SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS

RE: SCHOOL SUPPLIES

Greetings, parents! It's hard to believe the new school year is upon us. It seems like only yesterday your children left for vacation and we began our annual summer ritual of slashing budgets, eliminating gifted programs, firing art and music teachers, and forcing many veteran educators into early retirement so we can replace them with recent college graduates who will offer fresh ideas and enthusiasm for half the salaries of their predecessors.

Don't worry though! The news isn't all bad. As in previous years, the football program's budget was untouched and, in many cases, increased. However, due to our fiscal year 2014 belt-tightening, it has become necessary to adjust your child's school supply list (see attached). Please review it carefully and note the reasons we are asking for these items and the quantity of each:

A dozen red markers. All students should keep one in their desks and bring the remaining markers to the front office where they will be used when we begin making 2015 budget cuts.

One box of Kleenex. This will come in handy to stem the tears that may flow when we lay off your child's teacher mid-period.

One calculator. Without it, your child cannot participate in our new math unit, "What Happened To All The Money?"

Anti-bacterial wipes. Need we remind you of the upcoming cold and flu season? Germs abound in classrooms and health officials have warned us to expect abnormally high caseloads this year since we had to let the janitorial staff go.

Band-Aids. You guessed it; the school nurse is gone, too.

One name badge. Our depleted teaching staff means class sizes have doubled. Therefore, don't expect your child's teacher to have students' names memorized until at least Christmas Break.

Google. Your children must have Google on their persons at all times. Looking up an answer online will undoubtedly be much faster than waiting for help from your child's teacher.

One pair of gym shoes. Sure, we have eliminated recess and fired most of the PE staff (football coaches notwithstanding) but we are still concerned about physical activity. To combat rising electricity bills, lunch periods have been reduced to 12 minutes. Therefore, all students will be encouraged to sprint to the cafeteria.

We are always looking for eager parents to volunteer, particularly those employed in the commercial building industry. We are excited about the proposed wing we plan to add to your child's school, which will house a state-of-the-art computer department complete with all the tools necessary to help your child thrive in a high-tech world and keep pace with their counterparts in China and India. The only thing holding back this project is access to architects, engineers, carpenters, masons, electricians and building inspectors willing to donate time and materials for a few weekends. Bring your children and turn it into a family outing!

Incidentally, thIS facility improvement plan will cost approximately $7 million, so if you know any wealthy celebrities willing to underwrite the cost, please notify us immediately. We are not averse to naming the new wing "The Jay Z and Beyonce School of Computing."

ILLINOIS PARENTS ONLY! Please place an additional ten dollar bill in the envelope containing your child's milk money. The Illinois Teacher Pension Fund faces a $52 billion deficit, and we feel this "pass the hat" strategy is a step in the right direction.

Thank you for your attention to these important matters. Finally, a reminder that football season opens this weekend. We're confident that the $3 million we spent purchasing new uniforms, upgrading the weight room, resurfacing the field and doubling the size of the press box will bring additional wins.

Go team. It's going to be a great year!

COPYRIGHT © 2013 GREG SCHWEM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT SERVICES, INC