Grrrrr.... Waldorf rant - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 02-06-2003, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Grrrrrrrrrr. I have been looking into Waldorf since I became pregnant with DD three and a half years ago. I sent in my application for preschool last week, and they called me this morning. They said they didn't offer financial aid for preschool UNLESS BOTH PARENTS WORKED OUTSIDE THE HOME AND NEEDED DAYCARE!!! WTF? So the fact that we are low-income because I decided to stay at home and raise my children MYSELF -GASP!! - is working AGAINST us??? That is just friggin' LUDICROUS. So I guess if we would have put work before family, we would have received financial aid. But since we can "afford" the luxury of me being at home (and trust me, we live paycheck to paycheck), we're screwed.
AAARGHHH. Sorry for the rant. I just can't get over how backasswards this system is!
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#2 of 13 Old 02-07-2003, 12:11 PM
 
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That is absurd, given the fact that Waldorf teachers encourage a parent to stay home with children. I wonder if the tuition assistance is so limited that they have to set weird rules like that because the pot of money is so small. Also, given the fact that they call it daycare, I wonder if the money is actually state money.

At our school, we have so many single moms that pretty much all the tuition assistance goes to help those families.

Are the rules different for grade school? Is there a possibility of getting a job at the school (napcare, after school care, assistant, etc)? I would try and see if you can work with them. What happens if you don't go to preschool? Does that eliminate the possibility of going to the grade school? Did you plan on continuing through 8th grade? Some of these things may play into it because they have to consider the long term health of the school.
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#3 of 13 Old 02-07-2003, 12:40 PM
 
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Where I live, it's not the school who makes up the rules, it's government who oversees financial assistance. And that is a general rule, both parents have to be working...fyi.

btw~don't shoot the messenger!
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#4 of 13 Old 02-07-2003, 08:49 PM
 
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I've served on a tuition assistance committee at a waldorf school. The rules vary from school to school. The one I worked at offered financial aid only for full-time students in early childhood programs. Stay at home moms were okay for aid until first grade, then both parents needed to be working to qualify for aid. I think the idea was that it wasn't fair to the families where both parents were working to pay the tuition, if families where only one parent had a job could qualify.

All that said, there was some flexibility for odd situations. One, where the family had an odd schedule got aid even though the child was only part-time in the EC program, for example.

The subject is hugely contentious and very difficult. Only a few waldorf schools have endowments (I only know of one in the U.S.), so all the forgiven tuition has to come out of 1)fundraising and 2)higher tuition for other families. On the other hand, more children, even if they are not paying full tuition, means more income.

Beats me!
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#5 of 13 Old 02-07-2003, 10:40 PM
 
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Most schools (not just waldorf schools) have a monetary limit to the amount of assistance they can give, and for better or worse, that assistance tends to go to re-enrolling families first. Plus, there are other considerations. This school may have had experience that families requiring assistance in pre-school do not enroll for grades, which makes the whole idea unappealing for them.

As I said, I don't get the 'rant'. Have you asked other private pre-schools in your area about assistance?

In our family, my wife began doing day-care for friends to pay for tuition when we "went Waldorf". Was she happy about it? Not always, but she wanted our children in the school more.

David, a waldorf school treasurer
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#6 of 13 Old 02-08-2003, 01:02 AM
 
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What a painful situation! You have been counting on this for 3 1/2 years in your mind, and now it seems they are declining for a rule that doesn't make sense. Boy, I can sure get upset too when I have myself set on something like that, especially involving my kids! (read "Mama Bear")

I was wondering if it was worth it to pursue this matter to the board of the school if they have one. Not in an adverserial way necessarily, but in order to raise awareness that their policy essentially discriminates against stay at home parents. Perhaps through your advocacy you could "open up" this policy to be more inclusive.Just a thought! Keep us posted.

 
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#7 of 13 Old 02-09-2003, 10:30 AM
 
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So, the tuition assistance comes from the waldorf community. There is limited availabe and I believe it is for the grades not Early childhood. An one other parent said, to provide more assistance then the other parents are footing the bill.

Take care -

Shane - Homeschooling mom to three boys (12, 1-, 8) and living the open life with my husband.

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#8 of 13 Old 02-09-2003, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, my. I hope you people haven't gotten the wrong idea about me! Canndw - I had just gotten off of the telephone with the school, and my laptop, opened to my favorite page, was sitting here, and I was really, really upset. I have never cried over such a silly matter before, but like one of the above posters mentioned, I had had this planned out for years now - literally - and at the time, it felt like my dreams were falling apart.
You are correct; I probably don't know enough about the exact rules their treasury department has to follow to understand what is going on here. Maybe, now that I'm calm and collected, I can call up and just get some general information about it.
BTW - yes, I can still try back for kindergarten and apply for financial aid then. So we will see what transpires.....
Ummm, anyone know anything about Montessori preschools?
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#9 of 13 Old 02-12-2003, 09:38 AM
 
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Thanks for the update.

At our school, policy is that assistance is not offered except for families with full-day kindergarten and grades students, and that even the kindergarten assistance is for returning families only. I have to say that everytime we've deviated from these guidelines in the past few years, it hasn't worked out (the family either didn't enroll or left after a year).

David
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#10 of 13 Old 02-12-2003, 01:12 PM
 
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Our school doesn't offer aid for preschool at all, only K-8. I can certainly relate to crying over it! I applied before I knew they didn't offer it for preschool and was sooo disappointed. I did find a Waldorf-inspired home school in the same neighborhood as "The Big School" as we refer to it. It was half the price, so it worked out great and we got the aid this year for kindergarten.
I wish you luck!

Tracey
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#11 of 13 Old 02-28-2003, 06:37 PM
 
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Um...Candiland...since you're a stay at home mom, have you thought about homeschooling her in the Waldorf style? If it's really important to you to send her to school, you could start out by homeschooling preschool, then send her to kindy or first grade when she's ready.

(Full disclosure - I have one 8 y.o. who homeschools, and one 6 y.o. who goes to a private alternative school).

Also, preschool (IMHO) is non-essential. My kids did go to co-op preschool 2 afternoons a week for 2 1/2 hours per day, but they were really more like playgroups with lots of toys available. No academics, etc. Probably more like a Waldorf preschool would be. Would something like a playgroup or co-op be possible for you? The co-op tuition 2 years ago was 75$ a month. Yes, a month, and I worked in the class 1 afternoon per week. Also, now that my kids are of school age, I can say with confidence that their friends who never attended preschool at all were just as competent socially, academically, and in every other way as their preschooled peers were.

Maybe this is an opportunity for you to have more special time with your wonderful little one. You can relax, and play, and be with her during all those hours she would have been at school!

Laura
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#12 of 13 Old 03-27-2003, 02:16 AM
 
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Sorry for the disappointment. I'm a single parent and have a kindergarten son and a twenty month old son. There is no tuition assistance at our school until grade 1...so I will be paying off kindergarten for a couple years.

It *is* worth it for us, though. My son has been at the school for three years.

Yes...homeschool for now! www.live-education.com

Best to you.
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#13 of 13 Old 06-24-2003, 09:45 AM
 
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Hey there! I happen to know the Waldorf school you are referring to and I know a lot of people that have had a really hard time getting finicial aid there (btw I have no idea where the aid comes from) One family I know even got there aid taken away when their kids were in 3rd grade and it was a shock. They had to send them to public school (not great in our area) and it was a real problem. I have had other administrative difficulties with this particular Waldorf as well and have decide against it because of that. Not such friendly people IMHO.... and really that is just my opinion, I happen to love Waldorf and know of plenty of great programs!

But most other private pre-schools don't give aid. Montessori gives aid starting at primary level (age 3) but we applied and only got $750 out of the $6500 tution! It may be because we were late getting the aid application in and we are also new students, but it was not because of our lack of need:

I'd love to discuss the schools more with you.....we really should get together anyway! If ya lost my # just e-mail me
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