Montgomery County Board of Education has to decide whether to leave room for better toilet paper in the 2021 budget
When the county Board of Education sits down to create the Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) budget every year, they are faced with some difficult decisions. How will they meet the demands of the teachers’ union? How will they address the ever-growing number of students in elementary, middle and high schools? Which buildings are most desperate for repairs? This year, they were confronted with an even more pressing issue: should the 2021 budget increase in order to provide schools with two-ply toilet paper?
Cabin John Middle School student body president Sekayi Fraser is leading the effort to increase the quality of toilet paper in MCPS and testified at a budget meeting Jan. 13. He presented his case for two-ply toilet paper, saying that the proposal was the main reason for his election. “It feels rough as sandpaper and very thin which has led to many uncomfortable circumstances for students,” Fraser explained to the Board of Education. “I have over 100 signatures on a petition advocating for better toilet paper from Cabin John’s eighth grade alum.”
On Feb. 10 the Montgomery County Board of Education passed the tentative budget for the 2021 fiscal year which, to Fraser’s disappointment, did not include money for two-ply toilet paper. The budget will be handed over to the Montgomery County Council for approval Feb. 28 when members will make the final decision on whether or not to include this increase in funds.
While there is no denying that the toilet paper in our schools is far from perfect, a slight improvement in our bathroom experience is hardly worth spending thousands of taxpayer dollars on. By increasing the quality of toilet paper in MCPS, the county will be spending an extra $31,000 per year on top of their current $200,000+ toilet paper budget. On top of the high cost, an increase in ply potentially increases plumbing issues. Repairing these damages would cost the county even more. It is not worth paying an extra $4.45 per case of toilet paper if it runs the risk of severe damage to infrastructure.
Some students believe that there are ventures more deserving of funding than toilet paper. “There are other things that money could better be used on, like repairing buildings that are falling apart,” junior Tatiana Beltran said. Not only would the county be spending money that could be used on much better things, but the money spent on toilet paper would be quickly wasted by inconsiderate students.
Many students lack a certain amount of respect and responsibility. School bathrooms are often vandalized, leaving toilet paper strewn all over. Considering the sizable amount of toilet paper that can be seen on the floors of school bathrooms, it would be a ridiculous waste to spend even more on this misused resource. “Kids take toilet paper and basically vandalize the resources that we have. There is probably a good percentage of that toilet paper that never gets used, that will get thrown on the floor and wasted,” Blair teacher George Mayo said.
No matter how convincing Fraser’s argument for comfier toilet paper, MCPS cannot justify spending an extra $31,000 of taxpayer money on toilet paper that students are guaranteed to misuse. The Board of Education has faced the reality of how kids treat their resources and realized that two-ply is not worth it and hopefully the Montgomery County Council will agree.
Mercedes Pierce. Hi! I am a junior and this is my first year on Silver Chips Online. I enjoy reading and writing about sports and politics as well as being a dancer and a baseball fan. More »