I think that you are looking at this wrong. This is a great opportunity for the students who are involved. My daughter will also be marchinhg in the Washington DC with her high school band. Her band will also be wearing brand new uniforms, which replaced 20+ year-old uniforms. Not a single penny was paid for by tax payer money. The directors and students spent two years selling pizzas, washing cars, grilling brats, and asking for donations. The trip was also paid for by the students. Those who couldn't afford to pay had the option of fund-raising. My daughter's school is one of those school where the students benefit by having all of the extra brand new items. Most of these items did not come from the budget; our schools are hurting there too. The parent support groups at our school are very active. The PTO, Athletic Booster Club, and Parent Music Club all provide these extra items to support the students in our high school. For example, the Parent Music Club donated $25,000 toward the cost of the new band uniforms. The schools where the parents are involved are fairing much better than those where they are not during these tough economic times.
More information about formatting options