Is Ashanti Worth $20,000 of School's Budget?
On June 1, 2012, Ashanti made an appearance at Atlantic City High School where she was interviewed on the school’s radio station, led assemblies for 7th and 8th grade students and then met privately with some of the middle schoolers. The whole experience was touted by school district officials as a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”
While that may be true, Atlantic City residents are fuming about the whole thing. Why? Because a whopping $20,000 was taken from the school budget to compensate the entertainer for gracing the students with her presence.
The funds were earmarked for instructional services. To take money away from actual education during a time when schools are facing so many budget cuts seems highly irresponsible. Ashanti isn’t even an A-List celebrity, either, so the expense is hard to justify.
Donna Haye, the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum tried to explain: "She was paid like any other vendor.” Except, of course, for the fact that another “vendor” might have had something that was actually educational to provide to the kids.
Ashanti hasn’t commented on the backlash but the right thing to do would be to give back some of that money. A lot of celebrities donate their time and money to worthy causes. There is no honor in taking funds from an already strapped school budget.
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