Moving Back to the US after 15 years abroad: New York? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 4 Old 04-19-2013, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I moved to Europe 15 years ago, and since then married and had 2 kids. We go "home" for 3 weeks every summer, and while the children are in a local school, are completely bilingual, etc., our house has always been "little America". We speak English at home, watch movies and read books in English. I'm proud of my American qualities, and have tried to teach my children to be proud of being 1/2 American as well.


My husband has an opportunity to move back to the States (he's French) with work, to New York City. We are really struggling because we never imagined to live in New York, and now after looking, we don't know what to do. With his salary, we know that we could never afford to live in New York City (we need 3 bedrooms- the children are too old to start sharing a room at this point), and at least initially, we 4 would be living off of his one salary. The kids now are in a local school that is based on Waldorf principals- I looked at Waldorf schools in New York and they are 25,000 dollars a year!!  We pay the equivalent of around 6000 a year now. If we move, the children will have to go to public school.  I've been reading everything on this and other boards and I just dont understand the school system. I've determined that charter schools would probably be the best (the children are both also Gifted (tested on WPPSI and WISC IV) but their stregnths and interests are different from each other. Ive read so many horror stories about testing and scoring in the States- I dont want my children to go through that. I feel that they've had a really rich education up until now, and are so curious about so many things- I dont want to plunk them into this rigorous "testing"  environment. But for charter schools, it seems that its all about lotteries and waitlists. How do you decide where to live, for instance- in the town of the school that you're wait-listed IN, or in the town with the mediocre school that they'll attend while they're being waitlisted?  How long are these waitlists? What is the criteria for getting into these schools?


As for towns- we don't know anyone on the East Coast. My husband will need to come into Grand Central Station- can anyone recommend any affordable towns that would be less than 40 minutes commute from Grand Central? We're looking for laid-back, diverse towns- something with a Berkeley feel that has good public schools. Is that a dream? Can anyone make any suggestions? Thank you.

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#2 of 4 Old 04-19-2013, 11:34 AM
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Hi, I don't have any answers to your questions, but you might want to ask this question in the regional forum as well, or start a thread asking people to see this one.

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#3 of 4 Old 04-19-2013, 06:58 PM
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I grew up on LI and while I have great memories, I don't know that it is the "same" as I remember it. I also lived in Queens and Manhattan when I was young and single. If I had to go back to NY at this point with a family (and couldn't afford Manhattan), I would look into Brooklyn...although there are some areas that are just as expensive as Manhattan. 

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#4 of 4 Old 04-21-2013, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by sara24bella View Post

We're looking for laid-back, diverse towns- something with a Berkeley feel that has good public schools. Is that a dream? Can anyone make any suggestions? Thank you.


I think you will find this, but it is going to cost a lot. A good area will automatically mean high housing costs.


I feel for you. I lived in NYC from 85-96, loved it for reasons to numerous to count. But I was single, no kids, did not have to worry about anyones education. I don't know about now, but NYC used to have some very unique schools, some of them even public, specializing in music, the visual arts, academics... So the schools could be found, but no idea about waiting lists, applications, prices... 


I moved to Denmark in 2000, have my family and kids here. If we moved to NYC our income would be pretty good, due to DHs job, but a lot of things that are free or nearly free here would cut into our income - schools, medical, transportation... so we would have to figure out how much money this will be before we could figure out what area we could afford to live it. I think maybe you should consider renting something for the 1st year or two, until you figure out really where you need to live, what the costs of things are....

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