what happens if you enroll your child in another town's school district using a relative's address? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-30-2013, 03:56 PM
 
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Even though I can understand why some parents might feel the need to enroll their child outside the district, I simply couldn't do it because not only would I be lying -- I'd also probably have to involve my child in the lie because what if she said something about where we lived to another child or a teacher, and someone felt a need to report us? I still recall how distressed I felt when I was eight and my dad insisted that I needed to lie to the waitress in the restaurant we were eating at, and tell her that I was only seven so I could get the child's plate.

 

That was such a horrible, nauseating feeling, and I actually think having to feel that way for your entire school career could be just as damaging as attending in an unaccredited district (as dd1 is doing now), or even having to continue homeschooling when you would rather be in school, and possibly having to save up to attend a class at the local community college, in order to get at least a taste of the school social experience that you are craving.


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Old 09-30-2013, 04:14 PM
 
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Even though I can understand why some parents might feel the need to enroll their child outside the district, I simply couldn't do it because not only would I be lying -- I'd also probably have to involve my child in the lie because what if she said something about where we lived to another child or a teacher, and someone felt a need to report us? I still recall how distressed I felt when I was eight and my dad insisted that I needed to lie to the waitress in the restaurant we were eating at, and tell her that I was only seven so I could get the child's plate.

 

That was such a horrible, nauseating feeling, and I actually think having to feel that way for your entire school career could be just as damaging as attending in an unaccredited district (as dd1 is doing now), or even having to continue homeschooling when you would rather be in school, and possibly having to save up to attend a class at the local community college, in order to get at least a taste of the school social experience that you are craving.

 

Remember that there are many legal ways to move your child out of district. The focus on this thread seems to be on the few who lie about it and not on the many who do it legally. There are charters for which you don't have to live in area. There are some magnets that takes kids out if district. Districts with low enrollment welcome kids from outside and yes, will upgrade their programs to attract kids from neighboring towns. In our county, it's pretty east to get a transfer if you can sight why another school would be better... special services not given in your own district, bully problems, lack of academic fit and yes, even child-care issues in some more extreme cases. 

 

It shouldn't be assumed that there aren't legal ways to move your kid. My kids have only once been in a school zoned for them. They've gone to other schools within the district. They've gone to different districts. It all depends on what they need and with careful research, we've been able to find legal options.


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Old 09-30-2013, 06:41 PM
 
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For the sake of honesty, I should add that the quote below isn't completely accurate after all. Dd told me this evening that there has been some fighting and the kids have been put on probation for it. And she said she never feels completely safe anywhere, even at home, because "the zombies could come at any time." But she still wants to stay at her school. :)

 

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She has witnessed absolutely no violence or bullying; she feels totally safe there.


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Old 09-30-2013, 07:04 PM
 
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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.

Just to clarify -- I was asking if anyone who is suggesting that parents enroll kids in struggling schools for the good of the whole have actually done this. Sorry if that expression wasn't all that well chosen considering the conversation.  

 

My gut tells me that this would not actually pan out that way (parents "sticking it out in a truly struggling school) and would look a lot more like Allison described: 

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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. 

 

To small extent this is us. There are things about a public Baltimore education (even with the availability of charters, magnets and out-of-zone options) that we "make the best of". In part because we do feel it's beneficial for our DC to be in this district's school system because it's where we live. But also in part because it makes us feel connected to the city in a way that I don't think we would feel if we went private or county or HS.  BUT, there are some trade offs. The schools aren't perfect - not even the best of the best. We have changed our standards for discipline, for instance, in favor of sending DC to the local schools. BUT, BUT, I do not begrudge anyone who doesn't think any of the public options are a good fit for their kids. Unless, of course, they used to bang the drum loudly in favor of public education....only to drop out after a short while - trashing the whole system along the way (I do know some people like that).  

 

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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.

Yes, me too. I don't personally know anyone who works in public and sends their kids to private. I do know several private school teachers who use public. I do think sometimes it's a matter of just not finding a good fit for your kids. That said, if I, personally, was sending my kids to a school where a teacher did not send their kids...I would struggle with that. Of course teachers are entitled to their privacy...but I would kind of want to know why this was. If it was a matter of fit, location, special needs or something I would feel fine with it. If it was a matter of not thinking the school was "good enough" for that teacher's kids...I'd have a real hard time with that. *Hypocrite warning... I think I would make an exception if the teacher were working in a really challenging "at risk" school. That is my plan and, although I hope DC can find schooling in the public system for the duration, I will find choice schools for her over sending her to where I choose to work. Unless it's a good fit. I recognize the hypocrisy here in what I'm saying about PS teachers who use private. HSing I see as slightly different and wouldn't feel as badly about that. So far we haven't had that situation, but I suppose it will be coming - our city has one of the largest % of private schools in the US. 


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Old 09-30-2013, 07:44 PM
 
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Also, on the subject of staying in a struggling school to make it better....   Although my DC has gone to lovely schools that were a great fit for her, there are plenty of people in this country who would consider them pretty bad schools, I think. I happen to disagree, of course. These schools are in part sucessful because of parent involvement but that's a tricky thing to rely on. And that's an important thing to remember. There are always going to be those parents who are trying to "get theirs". When a school needs to rely heavily on parents for help, those schools need STRONG leadership. Poor leadership + pushy parents = terrible results for kids. I'm jus' sayin' it's not that easy to get in there and support a school and the school needs good bones to even allow that kind of support. JMO/JME. <3 


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Old 09-30-2013, 09:59 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 many teachers. I have yet to meet even one that has sent their kids to any school other than the public schools. Mind you, sometimes they do jockey a bit to get their kids into a school they themselves work at.. which is one way around the "transfer to a better school" issue.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:25 AM
 
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I'd actually say its quite common to send your kids private if you work as a teacher in the UK. At the least teachers quite often seem to pull every string to get their kids into the best school possible. 

 

Private education is possibly a little different here, its not an unusual choice but its also a highly controversial one. 


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Old 10-01-2013, 07:10 AM
 
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Also, on the subject of staying in a struggling school to make it better....   Although my DC has gone to lovely schools that were a great fit for her, there are plenty of people in this country who would consider them pretty bad schools, I think. I happen to disagree, of course. These schools are in part sucessful because of parent involvement but that's a tricky thing to rely on. And that's an important thing to remember. There are always going to be those parents who are trying to "get theirs". When a school needs to rely heavily on parents for help, those schools need STRONG leadership. Poor leadership + pushy parents = terrible results for kids. I'm jus' sayin' it's not that easy to get in there and support a school and the school needs good bones to even allow that kind of support. JMO/JME. <3 

My kids go to the "worst" schools in our town, but I actually hesitate to call them "struggling." Of course, there are problems associated with being a 60%+ free/reduced lunch school (i.e., low income), but some of those have a flipside. We are Title I which means class size is small (for years my kids were in classes of 15 or so), and extra help is provided to those who need it in the form of extra aides and teachers who come in, etc. My one daughter had a good experience there with a few problems, but frankly nothing that couldn't have happened at another school. The other one has had a great experience throughout so far. There is parent involvement at these schools - although we simply can't raise the level of funds that other schools in town can - and we have strong leadership as stated above (I agree with that point - it took our principal a few year to reach a good equilibrium between the teachers and parents). As I said above, in this fairly affluent town, there is a narrow band of what is considered "good" as far as schools go.


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Old 10-01-2013, 07:11 AM
 
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PS We also have many friends and family who are public school teachers (my DH included). One homeschools (1 of 2 kids, other goes to public), zero send to private school, the rest send to public school.


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Old 10-01-2013, 07:38 AM
 
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My kids go to the "worst" schools in our town, but I actually hesitate to call them "struggling." Of course, there are problems associated with being a 60%+ free/reduced lunch school (i.e., low income), but some of those have a flipside. We are Title I which means class size is small (for years my kids were in classes of 15 or so), and extra help is provided to those who need it in the form of extra aides and teachers who come in, etc. 

 

Title one must vary a bit state to state (or even district by district). I just checked the stats and Baltimore Title 1 schools range from 100.87% (???) - 65.7% poverty. I don't think there is a school in our district with a  FARMS rate of less than 40%. :-(  Looking at other districts in our state there are some that are given Title 1 designation with 26% poverty - interesting for sure. And gets to the issue of how very subjective this conversation can be. 

 

My DC goes to one of the "best" schools in our city but that still means a pretty high % of kids who qualify for FARMS and some of the challenges I mentioned above. Given that we can identify a little...  Don't you feel like your kids are benefiting from their school environment often, even, when another person may consider those things to be negative on the surface? In doing some academic reading on diversity in education (from that UCLA site I posted earlier) it seems that diversity in education serves kids from every place on the spectrum. Again, this is not to say that parents should send their kids to a really damaged school...but to say if the choice is between a school with some things that look like challenges on the surface, that those things should be investigated for their real impact rather than assumptions made from the outside. 


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Old 10-01-2013, 08:57 AM
 
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In doing some academic reading on diversity in education (from that UCLA site I posted earlier) it seems that diversity in education serves kids from every place on the spectrum.

I agree. I see it as a real positive that dd1 is getting to go to a school where she's a racial minority.


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Old 10-01-2013, 09:08 AM
 
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I agree. I see it as a real positive that dd1 is getting to go to a school where she's a racial minority.

 

Yes, for us too. And also I found it really freeing as a parent to have a kid at a school that is fairly culturally and socio-economically diverse. There was *always* someone better off and worse off than DC when it came to any number of our parenting or financial choices. If DC's friend was going for France and we couldn't travel we talked about the number of kids in her class who are saving for a trip to FL and may never get overseas. If DC wants a phone we can talk about the various considerations about that. We can talk about values, saving, budgets and all that good stuff - all with some framework of diversity, privilege, and values. If I want DC to make her own lunch AND breakfast (gasp!) because I'm still nursing a toddler in the AM, we can talk about all different parenting choices around food, time, employment, independence, responsibility and etc.  


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Old 10-01-2013, 09:59 AM
 
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Yes, for us too. And also I found it really freeing as a parent to have a kid at a school that is fairly culturally and socio-economically diverse. There was *always* someone better off and worse off than DC when it came to any number of our parenting or financial choices. If DC's friend was going for France and we couldn't travel we talked about the number of kids in her class who are saving for a trip to FL and may never get overseas. If DC wants a phone we can talk about the various considerations about that. We can talk about values, saving, budgets and all that good stuff - all with some framework of diversity, privilege, and values. If I want DC to make her own lunch AND breakfast (gasp!) because I'm still nursing a toddler in the AM, we can talk about all different parenting choices around food, time, employment, independence, responsibility and etc.

 

Yes, and one real downside of having dd go to school in a wealthy district, supposing there were a legal way to do this and we could have afforded the transportation costs, would have been how "poor" she would have felt in comparison to the other kids. Over the last few years, she's become very quick to notice that some other families in our church are a lot more financially comfortable than we are (In order to be part of a religious community that embraces liberal values and allows each person room to determine his or her own beliefs, we've joined a church in a denomination in which many of the people just happen to be highly educated and somewhat wealthy -- even though the church is still right in the middle of the city).

 

So I think getting to attend a school where most of the other kids get free lunches just like she does can help her keep things in perspective.


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Old 10-01-2013, 12:25 PM
 
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I live in an area that is second only to the Amish in people who send their kids to non-public schools. Of the teachers who actually teach in that district, 75% of them send their kids to private or religious schools. This is a very Catholic area, we have affordable Catholic schools and it is part of the culture here. The sucky schools only add to this. I teach in a different district where 95% of the residents send their children to public schools, so it's very different. If I could send my kids to school there without living in the district, I would. I refuse to move there because it is cancer alley. I'm not willing to risk their health; I'd rather pay for education.

 

As far as diversity, my girls go to a Catholic school that is just as diverse as the public schools. It was the first school in the country that believed in educating girls and African Americans. There are many AA students there because of the history. Her lunch table, chosen by the students, is 50/50 whereas in the public school I teach you don't really see that. Public doesn't always equal more tolerance.

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Old 10-01-2013, 01:05 PM
 
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If DC wants a phone we can talk about the various considerations about that. We can talk about values, saving, budgets and all that good stuff - all with some framework of diversity, privilege, and values.

I was concerned about the financial divide when I made the decision to send our kids to the school they go to, as many of the families there are much more affluent than we are. And yes, according to DS lots of kids at school have iPhones. But our refusal to get him a cell phone isn't based on finances. Even if we had zillions of dollars, I wouldn't get my 8-year-old who is hardly ever away from me a cell phone.

So it's a learning experience for him, too, to talk with me about our values, and how being able to afford something doesn't automatically mean we'll get it. For us, being able to point out that lots of his classmates can't afford cell phones either wouldn't ever really enter into the discussion, since it's not a financial decision but rather one based our family's current needs and beliefs.

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Old 10-01-2013, 01:53 PM
 
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I live in an area that is second only to the Amish in people who send their kids to non-public schools. Of the teachers who actually teach in that district, 75% of them send their kids to private or religious schools. This is a very Catholic area, we have affordable Catholic schools and it is part of the culture here. The sucky schools only add to this. I teach in a different district where 95% of the residents send their children to public schools, so it's very different. If I could send my kids to school there without living in the district, I would. I refuse to move there because it is cancer alley. I'm not willing to risk their health; I'd rather pay for education.

 

As far as diversity, my girls go to a Catholic school that is just as diverse as the public schools. It was the first school in the country that believed in educating girls and African Americans. There are many AA students there because of the history. Her lunch table, chosen by the students, is 50/50 whereas in the public school I teach you don't really see that. Public doesn't always equal more tolerance.

 

I'm kind of famililar with your area (my family owns a house in New Orleans). We also live in an area with a lot of private schools but I don't know the percent of the city population who use private -- but I do know it isn't anywhere near that of the Amish. What percentage of children use private in your parish? 

 

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So it's a learning experience for him, too, to talk with me about our values, and how being able to afford something doesn't automatically mean we'll get it. For us, being able to point out that lots of his classmates can't afford cell phones either wouldn't ever really enter into the discussion, since it's not a financial decision but rather one based our family's current needs and beliefs.
 
Yes, of course that conversation can be had no matter the school choice. I'm actually not 100% sure what the criteria is when studying the advantages of a diverse education...but whatever it is it certainly is not the end all be all. I hope I didn't come off as saying that if a parent can't find a diverse setting for their kids that they will somehow be disadvantaged. Certainly there are ways to make up for that - and I think many private schools do a good job of trying to off set that. 

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Old 10-02-2013, 05:53 AM
 
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As of 2012, 40% of Jefferson parish residents send their children to non-public schools. In the state of LA, 20% of residents choose non-public schools. Pre-Katrina levels were higher; since Katrina, there have been a number of good charter schools and magnet schools that have opened. One silver lining to that storm was it blew up the dysfunctional school system in Orleans parish. While LA ranks near the bottom of the educational polls, if you take out two of the 64 parishes, we jump about 30 spots.

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Old 10-02-2013, 07:22 AM
 
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Greet summary, Mary. Thanks!

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Old 10-02-2013, 07:44 AM
 
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Again, this is not to say that parents should send their kids to a really damaged school...but to say if the choice is between a school with some things that look like challenges on the surface, that those things should be investigated for their real impact rather than assumptions made from the outside. 

What you said in that one sentence is what I was trying to say with my several posts! :-)


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Old 10-03-2013, 06:02 AM
 
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As of 2012, 40% of Jefferson parish residents send their children to non-public schools. In the state of LA, 20% of residents choose non-public schools. 

 

I have been trying find some stats on Baltimore (all of the government sites are down) and MD because I do know that we have a heavy concentration of private schools - but for Baltimore I think it's statistically high in number of individual schools rather than an especially high percentage of city residents using private. For two reasons - for one, many our private schools tend to be VERY expensive - over $20,000/year. Being Maryland, we have a lot of Catholics too but the Catholic schools (although equipped to handle a large student body -- these were once free to members of the congregation and had HUGE class sizes - huge!). are closing left and right (making room for lots of charter schools to fill their halls). For one thing, these schools aren't like "totally cheap". They are around $500/month for one child. Also, some have a good reputation and some just don't - not for academic achievement. Now on to the other schools -- they are just so expensive. They cost about the same as the per capita income in our city. From what I know in your area there seems to have less income disparity from what we see up here. MD is the wealthiest state in the union and the poverty in Baltimore has got to be up there. It's a weird place, for sure.  

 

This, again, getting into how our towns and cities influence how we frame this discussion. 


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Old 10-03-2013, 06:26 AM
 
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I found the info from a local newspaper article. New Orleans is a very poor parish; there is very little tax base, although that has improved since Katrina- many young people have moved in. Most of the people who work there live in a neighboring parish. Jefferson Parish is a suburb- so you have a combination of people who make pretty good money combined with tradition and not so great schools.

 

Our Catholic elementary schools average about $5,000 a year; high schools are around $8,500. Most people I know who send their kids to Catholic schools sacrifice quite a bit, like we do. Non-religious private schools tend to be around $18,000 a year. I have three kids in Catholic high school this year because they start in 8th grade. I'm a teacher and my dh is a purchasing agent- we don't make a lot of money. We drive 7 year old cars, don't go on vacation, and eat at home most nights. I look at what we pay and think how much we could do with that money, but it's a very short time in their lives. Our state a free college tuition program for students who have a 2.5 GPA and 20 on the ACT; 100% of students at the schools my kids attend qualify for that every year. That equals about $30K over 4 years.

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Old 10-03-2013, 07:49 AM
 
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I found the info from a local newspaper article. 

 

 

Interesting. What little I can find with the government shut down certainly leads to your parish being unique. (Just realized that JP is where Meterie is, which is were we grocery shop when down there. The neighborhood around the store is full of little Catholic icons in front yards and etc. It's a small world.) It looks like the country average is 10% for private schools.  Where private is considered the choice of the "average" citizen, I think I'd consider it much more and also would be fine if my kid's PS teachers chose that route. Still...my car is 30 years old and I still don't think we could afford it -- and we aren't considered "poor" by our city's standards by any stretch. I have always been curious about life for families in New Orleans. I do know a few teachers down there but I guess we normally talk about other things. Thanks for sharing! 


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