what happens if you enroll your child in another town's school district using a relative's address? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 112 Old 09-25-2013, 08:07 AM
 
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I don['t know what Sid is, but what is the good, ethical explanation of why this particular rule should be broken?

And I'm glad mar123 weighed in, because I can't help but wonder how the kids feel about keeping up the lie about where they live.
sid was a typo (dumb ipad). I would just tell my kids that he system is broken and I am not going to allow the, and I'm not going to allow the to be a victim of it.
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#62 of 112 Old 09-25-2013, 08:10 AM
 
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http://abcnews.go.com/US/ohio-mom-jailed-sending-kids-school-district/story?id=12763654

 

I googled this and there were tons of examples. This is just one link.

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#63 of 112 Old 09-25-2013, 08:19 AM
 
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http://abcnews.go.com/US/ohio-mom-jailed-sending-kids-school-district/story?id=12763654

I googled this and there were tons of examples. This is just one link.
Thanks for the link. All I can say is ewwww. I am ashamed to live in a country where this could happen. The system at large is failing, yet we punish parents who are trying to do what's best for their children. Gross.

And I applaud all the moms who say they worked multiple jobs to be able to live in a good district. That really. Isn't. Possible. For. Every. Person. If you really can't see that, your privilege is showing. Why do we think its okay to punish the kids of poor people? Sad.
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#64 of 112 Old 09-25-2013, 05:32 PM
 
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Coaching a young child with a fake address doesn't sit well with me, either. What if you had a real emergency and your kid gives 911 his fake addie? So scary.

 

Most people using fake addresses are using addresses of a extended family member or very close friend -- someone who would be on the emergency contact form. You have to use a REAL address where you can receive mail or it won't work, so this reasoning doesn't hold water.

 

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I think it is unethical. Because if parents are doing it to send their children to a "better" school they are just contributing to the demise of the less sought after school. If a parent has the resources to shuttle their kids to a different district, chances are they also have the resources to get involved and improve the less appealing school.

 

I totally disagree, for many of the same reasons that other have pointed out. I live in an "open enrollment" state, and work at a title 1 school with several kids who are there on open enrollment. (part of the reason that families in enroll in our school instead of more monied school with higher test scores is that we are still a very good school, and we are close in town. Few struggling parenting can drive their kid 30 minutes in the opposite direction of their work (twice a day). Many of the families are deeply struggling, but are doing the best they can for their child. To judge them and say they should just move -- or just plug away in a messed up school -- shows a lack of understanding of how complicated either of those options can be. Its really tough to change a f*cked up school. In some districts, changes need to happen at the DISTRICT level. At some schools, the principal needs to be replaced. Unless those positions have half way decent people in them, the parents really, truly cannot do ANYTHING to improve the situation.

 

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That is an unethical practice. I would tip off this child's school. Say what you will..... but I'm the third generation in my family to re-locate to a good school district once my kids were school age. Better to own a small house in a good school district than a mega mansion in a sad one. Living in a good school district also helps the re-sale value on your home as well.

 

More than a 1/4 of homeowners in my state are upside down in their mortgages. Even more would face loses of tens of thousands of dollars if they attempted to sell their houses at this time. Most of the working poor do not own homes, and they HAVE to live on bus lines. The "good" schools in  my city are the outlying schools -- and living further out actually cost more money here because you HAVE to have your own, reliable transportation.

 

A big chunk of what makes a school "good" or "bad" is the socioeconomic status of the parents. Schools that serve the children of the working poor, children who have a parent in prison, English language learners, children whose parents have substance abuse problems, etc. will always appear to be lesser than schools that serve middle class and upper class kids from stable homes whose parents were successful in our educational system.

 

I work at an amazing school with dedicated teachers and students who knock my socks off, but to compare where they are at the end of the year to their suburban,monied peers is just mean. To assume that we are a "bad" school because of our test scores is pretty absurd. I think it is pretty hard to judge a good school from a bad one, which is why test scores are popular, but they really don't tell you much. For the most part, they reflect the income and ethnicity of parents rather than how well the school is doing. 

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#65 of 112 Old 09-25-2013, 07:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

A big chunk of what makes a school "good" or "bad" is the socioeconomic status of the parents. Schools that serve the children of the working poor, children who have a parent in prison, English language learners, children whose parents have substance abuse problems, etc. will always appear to be lesser than schools that serve middle class and upper class kids from stable homes whose parents were successful in our educational system.

 

 

I agree that socioeconomic status of parents is a huge factor, but I don't agree that schools that serve the working poor and English language learners will appear lesser — not sure about the parent in prison part and the substance abuse part. Mar123 and I both pointed out schools that don't necessarily follow this rule. Free & Reduced Lunch numbers are at 50% at my child's elementary. About 30% of the school is first gen Hispanic immigrants, about 4 or 5% of the school are political refugees from Asia. Our school is well regarded and many people do move to go to this school and the other schools in our district (which tries to balance socioeconomic status in the schools).

 

What my school district and Mar123's seem to have in common is good funding (from local businesses in her case and from higher local property taxes in my case). Our communities value funding schools.

 

I'm in the South and I am old enough to remember when the schools were integrated in my state (1972 I believe—I was in 2nd grade). I think balancing the schools really improves them as a whole. Separate, but equal wasn't true then and it's not true now, but there's been a big pendulum swing of late toward neighborhood schools (ie: wealthy kids don't have to go to school with poor kids). In a neighboring county one of the "best" high schools located in an affluent area in the county-wide district has a free and reduced lunch rate of just 7% while some of the other high schools in that district are over 50% free & reduced lunch. All the high schools in our district are more or less equitably balanced. 

 

For tons of info on childhood poverty, education, health, etc the Annie E Casey Foundation's Kids Count website has a vast database of info: http://datacenter.kidscount.org .


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#66 of 112 Old 09-26-2013, 02:00 AM
 
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This is obviously something highly location specific, and of course this IS an international board. The ethics of the situation will obviously vary depending on who is actually paying for the school.

 

My area, where everyone in the entire country effectively is paying for every single school in the country, clearly has a different set of ethical considerations around funding to one where the local people pay for the local school. 


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#67 of 112 Old 09-26-2013, 04:59 PM
 
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Most people using fake addresses are using addresses of a extended family member or very close friend -- someone who would be on the emergency contact form. You have to use a REAL address where you can receive mail or it won't work, so this reasoning doesn't hold water.


Doesn't hold water how?

If you have an emergency at home and your child... coached to auntie's address one town over... gives that one instead of the spot where you are lying out on your own carpet at your own home... I guess your sister gets the ambulance that you need.
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#68 of 112 Old 09-26-2013, 05:20 PM
 
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Doesn't hold water how?

If you have an emergency at home and your child... coached to auntie's address one town over... gives that one instead of the spot where you are lying out on your own carpet at your own home... I guess your sister gets the ambulance that you need.

 

Doesn't 9-1-1 trace the call location? This seems pretty far-fetched to me. How likely is it that not only would 9-1-1 not know the geographic location of the call, but the child is the one who makes the call, and is so young and distraught that he forgets his real address? 

 

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#69 of 112 Old 09-26-2013, 06:06 PM
 
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911 traces all calls and goes there. Has done for decades.

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#70 of 112 Old 09-26-2013, 07:28 PM
 
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911 traces all calls and goes there. Has done for decades.


I just searched this on the internet and the consensus seems to say ... I'm paraphrasing here....although most 911 calls are now traced, giving a correct address and cross streets are very helpful to emergency personnel. Children should be coached to give their address to the 911 operator.

There's also a whole lot of stuff out there about kids being unable to call 911 because their parent's cellphones are "locked" and there are no landlines in the house. A call made to 911 on a cell phone may not be traceable depending on your phone and its particular settings.


Alas, all this talk is derailing the thread. Sorry, OP. I do think you have gotten some interesting answers. However, I'm still in the "this is not ethical" camp!
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#71 of 112 Old 09-26-2013, 11:16 PM
 
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hang on can I just check? The argument for not giving a false address for the school is that you might, while at home, have need of an ambulance, call said ambulance, the ambulance then checks first, not by, say, tracing a call, or failing that with, say, your medical records but by checking with your kid in school. And then sends an ambulance to the wrong address?

 

I would personally not lose too much sleep over that one.


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#72 of 112 Old 09-27-2013, 03:49 AM
 
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hang on can I just check? The argument for not giving a false address for the school is that you might, while at home, have need of an ambulance, call said ambulance, the ambulance then checks first, not by, say, tracing a call, or failing that with, say, your medical records but by checking with your kid in school. And then sends an ambulance to the wrong address?

I would personally not lose too much sleep over that one.

No, I think the argument was that you need ambulance at home. Your child calls the ambulance. *But* your child has been coached to give "auntie's" address when asked for their address, does so in this case as well and the ambulance is dispatched to Aunty and not to you.

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#73 of 112 Old 09-27-2013, 04:48 AM
 
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I think it would pose undue challenges for the family and child. My DC currently goes to a school in another district but we did it through their "out of zone" application process so it's all on the up and up. This is our first experience in a zoned school and I can tell everyone that IOE, the very first question we got was about where we lived. I don't think this was a snobbery question but one made out of interest. It would have SUCKED for our family if the very first question we answered from these new friends/community was complicated by fudging our address, yk?  

 

Just realized this thread is 4 pages long... sorry if my opinion has been shared already. Off to read...


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#74 of 112 Old 09-27-2013, 05:19 AM
 
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Re: the ethics and privilege of pulling your kids from the local schools (whether that is by using an out of zone, charter, magnet, private, or HS)...

 

I do agree that there are some ethical considerations but I also agree with the idea that this is our kid's lives and educations we're talking about here. I wonder for those who are taking a harder line on this if they have put their money where their mouths are...?   Also, there are so many districts moving away from zone schooling so that issue becomes less significant for some regions. Although our district is one of these we do still have some zoned schools. Some are great, some a good fit for some kids and less-so for others, and some have significant disadvantaging conditions for all kids - think David Simon's The Wire. The idea that a parent who can find a way out of these schools for their kids should stay to help seems like...I don't know, like another kind of privilege, I guess.  That is NOT to say that if for however we educate our kids that we shouldn't ALL be invested in helping to improve these schools. All schools, and especially the damaging ones. 

 

ETA: the privilege of commuting to an out of zone school vs. the privilege of sticking it out to improve a struggling school... 

 

In our city, kids after 5th grade can take the city bus for free. I can't comment too much on that because we use carpool but in our area getting an older kid to a non-neighborhood school doesn't necessitate a significant advantage - certainly nothing compared to what it would take for even a group of families to make a significant impact on improving a struggling school. 

 

Also, for some reading, there is some good scholarship on race related variation on the motivation behind parent involvement in schools. From what I remember reading, white parents tend to become involved in schools so that they can impart some change in the system for the benefit of their kids. AA parents tend to get involved to help support teachers and admins in their mission. I'll see if I can find the study...  

 

http://www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu - the link I had is dead but it's from this site. 

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#75 of 112 Old 09-27-2013, 05:55 PM
 
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I wonder for those who are taking a harder line on this if they have put their money where their mouths are...?  

 

I find the use of a phrase about money to be humorous in this context. The more money parents have, the less of an issue it is because they can just move, or put their child in a private school or whatever. I feel fortunate to have been able to make real choices about my kids' educations and to select the schools I feel are best for them.

 

Partly because I have been so very privileged in this regard, I do not feel I can judge another parent for doing what they feel is best for their child. I don't think that I have more of a right to do what I feel is best for my kid because of how much money we have. That would just make me an a$$. 

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#76 of 112 Old 09-27-2013, 06:07 PM
 
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I find the use of a phrase about money to be humorous in this context. The more money parents have, the less of an issue it is because they can just move, or put their child in a private school or whatever. I feel fortunate to have been able to make real choices about my kids' educations and to select the schools I feel are best for them.

 

Yes, I think we're on the same page -- though for parents who feel strongly that using a fake address is an act of "pulling out of the system" I imagine that private or fleeing to the 'burbs falls into the same category. 

 

For our family the availability of charter schools, magnets, innovative, out of zone options are the reasons we can keep our kids on the public system and/or stay in our city. To me this feels enough like we're sticking it out - keeps us connected to the district and invested but makes sure our kid(s) are getting the education they need.

 

I also wanted to add that I did participate in a group that wanted to come together and send a large group of kids with active families into one of our city's less popular schools (this is for middle so there are far more "choice" schools than zone). It's a nice idea for sure. Unfortunately, the leader of this group and another super active member ended up pulling out of the system all together in favor of elite private schools. It was weird and I guess I feel a bit burned by all the "big talk".

 

I'm not saying that this is how our Mothering members would act but I am curious to hear the experiences of sticking it out in seriously struggling schools. What was that like? For your kids?  Did families manage to impart change?    


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#77 of 112 Old 09-27-2013, 06:21 PM
 
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I know it is not possible for everyone to work 2-3 job but there is nothing privileged about it. Yes, I was lucky that I could but it is hard and exhausting and took a few years of my life.

 

Going to jail is real possibility because essentially state will calculate that you stole education in such and such amount.

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#78 of 112 Old 09-27-2013, 06:39 PM
 
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Were you referring to something I posted, Alenushka? 


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#79 of 112 Old 09-28-2013, 03:22 AM
 
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"Going to jail is real possibility because essentially state will calculate that you stole education in such and such amount."

 

That would obviously depend on whether it was a criminal or civil matter. It might actually well be civil, it would depend. If you live somewhere where that's a real possibility then of course you would need to take that into account.

 

I don't, and so it wouldn't factor into my decision.


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#80 of 112 Old 09-28-2013, 04:21 AM
 
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"Going to jail is real possibility because essentially state will calculate that you stole education in such and such amo

That would obviously depend on whether it was a criminal or civil matter. It might actually well be civil, it would depend. If you live somewhere where that's a real possibility then of course you would need to take that into account.

 

I don't, and so it wouldn't factor into my decision.

 

I don't think that's a real threat in our city either. The more I think about this the more I feel that if a parent lives in a place where their kid has to lie about where they live and live with a real threat of being caught and a parent being fined or jailed...then they likely live in a district or zone with schools like many of us can't imagine. 

 

If we're talking about a parent fudging their address because they want to send their kids to a "better" school over an "average" school... That would not be worth the stress or consequences. (and I do agree with the labeling of schools as "good" "struggling" as problematic. I like that our city has moved to open enrollment so parents can focus on schools that are good fit for their individual child)

 

One thing I think is CRAZY is that families in our area can pay an out-of-district fee to send their kids to city or county schools from another district. It's one thing that a city parent pays for county schools where taxes are lower and demand for "good" schools is lower. But the fact that a parent outside of our city can pay for a highly competitive space in one of our city schools surprises me.

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#81 of 112 Old 09-28-2013, 08:37 AM
 
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Going to jail is real possibility because essentially state will calculate that you stole education in such and such amount.

Any one who pays taxes pays for the education system.  I pay even though I homeschool and even though I don't use one thing the school district has to offer me.  All the families sending kids to the area Waldorf school pay taxes to their various school districts.  All my (childless) neighbors pay for the school system.  We pay through our property taxes to our local district.  We pay through our state sales tax to the state government to dole out *partly* due to enrollment throughout our state and to the state universities, we pay to the federal government who funds some of our cost of the education system.  And anyone throughout the world who buys lumber from Washington State trees is funding our school systems as well.  

 

I asked this previously and no one answered, unless someone's enrollment bumps out a legitimate resident (and even if), *how is that stealing education*?  What about the homeless kids who aren't paying their "fair share" of taxes--are they stealing education?  Where do they belong?

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#82 of 112 Old 09-29-2013, 02:43 PM
 
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I don't think that's a real threat in our city either. The more I think about this the more I feel that if a parent lives in a place where their kid has to lie about where they live and live with a real threat of being caught and a parent being fined or jailed...then they likely live in a district or zone with schools like many of us can't imagine. 

 

If we're talking about a parent fudging their address because they want to send their kids to a "better" school over an "average" school... That would not be worth the stress or consequences. (and I do agree with the labeling of schools as "good" "struggling" as problematic. I like that our city has moved to open enrollment so parents can focus on schools that are good fit for their individual child)

Exactly.  A minor change in schools isn't worth the inconvenience, the lying, the stress. But if the school is really, really bad, then a parent turns into a momma cub, and will do all sorts of things to protect their child. My kids were in one such school. I posted earlier. I am not talking impolite kids with bad grades. I am talking 7 year olds putting 6 year olds in the emergency room, 6 year olds being held down, jumping out of windows and off of tables, constant swearing, screaming, banging, where "constant" means every 5-15 seconds. I chose to get the h-e-l-l out, no matter what it took. If it meant cheating with a school district, I would have done it. And I would not have had any guilt over it. Not a seconds worth. Some things are so bad that NO ONE deserves to be there. My child has a right to be safe, and to learn something. She was not getting either. In the end, we signed her up for every private school in the area, we applied to other public schools to have her transferred, and we prepared to put our house on the market in case no other private or public school became available by august; and we would have moved to a tiny row house in the "white upper crust neighborhood" in order for her to get an education. There is a difference between a school being bad, and a school being intolerable. 

 

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Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post
 

 

I'm not saying that this is how our Mothering members would act but I am curious to hear the experiences of sticking it out in seriously struggling schools. What was that like? For your kids?  Did families manage to impart change?    

 

I didn't "stick it out". I tried to change the parents involvement, interest, help... but kept hitting a brick wall when they all said they were just hoping for the best or feeling it must get better the next year or hoping that a new teacher would fix things.... Eventually I figured out that when one is really and truly stuck in a bad situation, with no choice of change (can't afford private, can't move to better district...) then the mind forms a state of huge denial. And acceptance. One must accept where one is, "make the best of it", because there is no other option. Therefore parents can not change things. I mean that because they have no real choice, they accept the current situation. If they were angry enough to not accept, to really want change, then they would have been angry enough to move their child. 

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#83 of 112 Old 09-29-2013, 11:55 PM
 
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"I asked this previously and no one answered, unless someone's enrollment bumps out a legitimate resident (and even if), *how is that stealing education*?  What about the homeless kids who aren't paying their "fair share" of taxes--are they stealing education?  Where do they belong?"

 

I would say its a sad state of affairs when we can even conceptualise "stealing education".

 

And I think, looking at both the state of your taxation system and mine, there are bigger, less warranted, drains on our tax than a 9 year old who wants to learn. 

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#84 of 112 Old 09-30-2013, 05:00 AM
 
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I have put my money where my mouth is; we pay a ton of money to send our kids to Catholic schools. I am a teacher in a different district from which I live. I teach summer school, do after school tutoring, and we have sacrificed a lot. In my opinion, education is the most important thing to my children's future. The school we are districted for is not a good one at all, educational or safety wise. My kids love their schools, and that matters to me. Even when my dh was in and out of work for three years thanks to the BP oil spill, we managed, somehow, to piece things together.

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#85 of 112 Old 09-30-2013, 11:46 AM
 
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I'm planning to come back later and read through all the replies, so I apologize if someone's already posted about this -- but don't most inner city school districts offer options such as magnet or charter schools? Our 13 year old, who's been unschooled up to now, really wanted to go to school, and we have bought a house in a neighborhood in which there's a tremendous amount of violence and gang activity in the comprehensive high school for 7th through 12th graders, so we looked into the magnet and charter options, and in mid-August she started the 8th grade in our district's fine and performing arts magnet, which is a really good fit for her because of her love for drama.

 

She has witnessed absolutely no violence or bullying; she feels totally safe there. That's not to say that none of the 8th graders there are ever unkind, but overall, her experience there has been pretty positive. They don't accept any kids with chronic behavior problems, and if kids have behavior problems while they are there, they're not given as much leeway to keep attending while acting out as the kids in the comprehensive schools are.

 

The downside is that I don't think any kid should be required to test or audition in order to receive a quality education -- it's a basic right -- but this was actually a very positive experience for dd, and I think it makes her more appreciative of being there. Children entering 7th or 8th grade in dd's school have to go through an interview during which they write a letter to the principal, explaining why they want to attend there and describing the role of theatre or the arts in their lives.

 

This spring, she'll need to declare her major -- which for her will be acting -- and audition for that major. I know that when it comes time for this, she'll have the normal amount of anxiety and she won't take the audition lightly -- but she is also doing an awesome job in her theatre class, she's already auditioned for, and gotten two small parts in, the fall musical (over 60 children auditioned for around 30 parts), and her theatre arts teacher has not only given us positive feedback about her class participation, but also selected her to go on a special fieldtrip to see a play. So I think dd will also feel a healthy amount of confidence when it comes time for the big audition.

 

That said, I think the programs her school offers in the area of fine and performing arts are comparable to the programs offered in this area by the regular comprehensive high schools in a well-to-do school district. So dd and her classmates are essentially having to work for what really should be a basic right -- plus, to get really high quality instruction in their areas of interest, they are having to attend a school that doesn't have a sports team.

 

This is not a big loss for my own dd, because her passion for acting is such that she's already planning to audition for the next musical, which they'll get started on after this one finishes, and the time-commitment for being in a musical is huge, with practices a few afternoons a week and some Saturdays. There are only so many hours in one day! Still, I know cheering for and/or participating in a sports team is an experience that can't really be replaced by anything else. It is what it is.

 

If an opportunity like this hadn't opened up for dd, our backup plan was to have her start attending our local community college, which kids here can start doing at around age 14. Since we couldn't seek out financial aid until she was taking at least 12 hours per semester (and I think that would be overwhelming for most 14 year olds), she would have needed to earn a good part of the money for this herself. She has actually been eager to get a part time job for quite some time now, and there are a couple of good opportunities for 14 year olds in our city (such as lifeguarding or working at our city's big amusement park), so if we hadn't been able to get her into a decent school, she would have been saving a good part of her job earnings this summer towards covering books and tuition for one college class each semester, and a monthly bus pass.

 

Again, she would have had to work for and earn this privilege, which is grossly unfair, but, at the same time, could also be a very positive experience for an energetic and goal-oriented child like dd.

 

As far as trying to send dd to a public school outside the district, I do have a few family members who live in a wealthier school district and may very well have been willing for us to use their address -- however, there is no way we could have afforded to drive her back and forth for thirty minutes each way; we already find it very challenging to keep enough gas in our tank as it is, and periodically have to limit where we go for a few days until I get paid and we can fill the car again. Since dd's school is a magnet, the district actually provides her with bus transportation to and from school.

 

But I don't fault anyone who feels like sending their child to another school district is their only option -- I just wonder if they've fully explored all of the options offered by their own district.

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#86 of 112 Old 09-30-2013, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mar123 View Post
 

I have put my money where my mouth is; we pay a ton of money to send our kids to Catholic schools. I am a teacher in a different district from which I live. I teach summer school, do after school tutoring, and we have sacrificed a lot. In my opinion, education is the most important thing to my children's future. The school we are districted for is not a good one at all, educational or safety wise. My kids love their schools, and that matters to me. Even when my dh was in and out of work for three years thanks to the BP oil spill, we managed, somehow, to piece things together.

 

slightly OT, but i have to wonder why so many public school teachers send their own children to private schools. i have noticed it a lot.

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#87 of 112 Old 09-30-2013, 12:57 PM
 
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Many districts don't have magnet or charter schools, those that do can't accept everyone who wants to go there, and not all magnet/charter schools are any better than the neighborhood school.
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#88 of 112 Old 09-30-2013, 01:31 PM
 
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slightly OT, but i have to wonder why so many public school teachers send their own children to private schools. i have noticed it a lot.

I know 2 High school and 1 prek teacher and their kids go to public school. I also know of a college teacher who's dc attends public school.


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#89 of 112 Old 09-30-2013, 01:55 PM
 
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slightly OT, but i have to wonder why so many public school teachers send their own children to private schools. i have noticed it a lot.

 

Just because you work somewhere, and even if you believe in the social value of that system, doesn't necessarily mean you believe it is the best place for your particular children. I know a lot of school teachers whose children have been homeschooled.

 

Miranda

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#90 of 112 Old 09-30-2013, 02:19 PM
 
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It's interesting to hear all the opinions on the general subject of school choice, even via legitimate channels (rather than lying about one's address).

We send our kids to another school within our district rather than our neighborhood school, via intradistrict transfer (so it's all legit, no lying involved). A few of my neighbors have made the same choice, but most decided to stay at our home school and try to improve it. I commend them, but my worry was that either nothing would change, or the changes wouldn't come fast enough for my kids to benefit from it.

Sometimes I wonder what my neighbors think of my choice, so it's really interesting to read some opinions from those who feel that families should stay at their home schools rather than exercising their school choice options.

Linda on the move, I really like your comment about how you shouldn't have more of a right to make the best decisions for your kids just because of how much money you have -- that's really well said.
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