August 03, 2010

Sigh...

I spent some time today researching local Charter Schools and Private Academies to which we are considering sending Captain Chaos to. I was shocked and appalled at what I found.

I was not appalled by the aggressive curriculum, the intense schedules, the enrollment procedures, or even by the dress code of solid colors and/or school logo polo shirts and the stack of khakis I can envision piling up in Captain's stash of clothing...

I was not appalled by stories I've heard from other parents, or the fundraisers I've had the privilege of being a customer of.

I was not appalled by the idea of having BB drive Captain to school in the morning and myself picking him up in the afternoons, thereby shortening my productivity window by about 45 minutes each school day.

I was, however greatly appalled at the fact that they want to charge anywhere from $2700 to $3300 in tuition. That is without additional fees for materials not provided by "special funding". That is without the out of pocket expenses for said shirts and khakis, extra gas from driving across town and back 5 days a week. That is simply for the "privilege" of having your child attend a Charter School Kindergarten (or private kindergarten).

I am not opposed to our public school system in general around here, I am just opposed to the school we're supposed to send our kids to having grades K - 3 be taught primarily or solely en espanol. Yup, you read that correctly. The school to which my children should go, based on where my house is geographically located, has a demographic made up primarily of migrant workers' families, and/or low income English-as-a-second-language families. Over 60% of the children at these schools qualify for the free and reduced lunch program, which subsidizes those kids' breakfasts and lunches at school, to insure they're getting proper nutrition for at least 2/3 of their weekday meals.

I am not opposed to these principles. I think it is wonderful that we are catering to the specific needs of a demographic group to allow them the same education as the rest of the English-speaking population.

I am opposed, however, to the idea of treating the other 40% of the students as though they are non-existent...as in I would have to hire a private tutor to come to the school to teach him in English, OR, do it myself...

I then researched some Home School curriculum and found that I could spend less than 10% of the tuition fees listed above and have everything to do Pre-K, K, and 1st grade curriculum.

I'll leave you to guess what I'm leaning towards as of today!

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