The Problem With Public School

“Jack, you can’t send your children to public school. It is not like it was when we were kids. The schools were good then, but now they aren’t. They are scary places where gangs roam the halls, kids get high and there is sex in the bathrooms.”

That is not an exact quote, but it is pretty damn close. At least I think it is, but who knows what I really remember from the days before my son entered kindergarten. What I know for certain is that more than one person said it to me and at the time I agreed with it…in concept that is.

That was before we made the decision to sell the house and search for greener pastures. Of course that first house was never supposed to be anything more than a starter home. I was making a boatload of money then but decided that the smarter move was to buy a smaller place just in case things changed.

I figured that it would help protect us and that if things happened and income changed dramatically we would be protected. Well, things happened. 9-11 happened. The recession happened. The housing market exploded. I changed jobs. My partner stopped taking his pills and went crazy (that is a true story, not exaggerated) and I had to adjust the plan.


That house was great, albeit small, but the neighborhood school wasn’t good enough. Not enough parental involvement, too many kids who didn’t go to preschool and a host of other reasons were enough to push us in a different direction.

Private school.

I was a public school kid and had never thought about private school for my children, but things change and we adapt. There wasn’t as much money in my wallet as there had been but there was enough and education is of paramount importance. So we sent Little Jack off to private school and marveled over the education he received.

Time passed and he was joined by his little sister. It certainly wasn’t any easier but I just tightened my belt and fought harder to find ways to make it happen. In between I wrote posts about the struggle to keep it going and searched for alternatives, but didn’t like the options.

The housing market was still crazy and though I had plenty of equity it wasn’t enough to get us into a house that offered bettered opportunity, or so I thought. Since the overwhelming majority of the family lived in town we didn’t want to leave. Two sets of grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins- all here.

But things happen and you have to adapt.

Middle School Approaches

The boy who at birth weighed an even eight pounds is more than ten times that now and almost finished with 5th grade. Middle school starts in 6th grade. Decisions have to be made.

His current school only goes through sixth grade so at best he has one more year there. But the thing is that I don’t know that I have the cash to keep it up. Not to mention that I have his sister to think about too.

I want her to get as much as he has gotten. I want her to have the same opportunities. I want to be fair. But I am not sure that I can make that happen and the guilt weighs upon my conscience.

There are decisions to be made and I don’t really know what will happen/.

A couple of good contracts and all is good. A couple of deals and I can put them both through another year but I don’t know if that makes sense. I am tired of fighting this battle year after year.

If I was a boxer and private school were my foe I would have a winning record, but I would be battered, bloodied and bruised. And for what?

Good Public Schools Exist

Good public schools exist but if you don’t live in the district there aren’t any guarantees that you will get in. It is a lottery and though the odds may be better than the state lotto there aren’t any guarantees.

We can move but…

Good public schools drive up the price of homes in the area. Rents are affected too.

I ask myself what I would do if money were no object and I have an answer but it doesn’t make me happy…

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