This is the time of year where people in DC and Maryland enter their kids into lotteries for charter schools. Depending on where you live, these charter schools may be your only option for a decent public education. We have entered our two school-aged kids into two different lotteries. One is for an on-base charter school, and the other is for a school for the gifted. If they get in, that is likely where they will go next year. If they don't get in, then we have decided to homeschool them. I've been doing a little research trying to decide what curriculum I'd like to use, but really we are just in a holding pattern until I hear back from these lotteries. It is rather depressing when I look at the numbers of children entered, versus the number of children who actually get in. We have had a lot of issues with the kids' current school, and definitely don't want them to return in the fall. It hasn't been all bad. Matthew has a fantastic teacher who has made his kindergarten year a happy one. And there are lots of sweet children and nice parents who have been very welcoming to us. In the end the severely short budget and poor administration has forced us to make a hard decision. The final straw was this past week when my kindergarten son was bullied by an older boy. Not only did the school take no action, they were also very rude when I went in to file a report.
Despite the stressful year we've had, I do find myself feeling fortunate that we do have options. I am of course not a single mother, and I have the ability to homeschool my children. My husband is very supportive of that option. We also could choose to move to another school district. It wouldn't be easy, but if we really felt it was necessary we could pull it off. For so many families though these charter schools are their only hope. I feel like the desire for a good education and environment for your children is universal, and my heart goes out to those who aren't able to find that. I watched a movie called "Waiting for Superman" recently, and it really showcased the struggle inner city families go through for a good education. It also profiled some schools who have managed to be successful, despite facing the usual obstacles. The documentary is on Netflix if anyone is interested. It really was well done, although it left me feeling rather discouraged. There are people out there who understand education and have the desire to help children, and it is just too bad that they are not typically the ones in power. I remember being shocked when I did a report in college and discovered that the Secretary of Education (at that time) had a BA in Political Science, and that was it. No educational background at all. She was also a mother, and had used private schools for her son's entire school career.
Well, those are my school thoughts for the day. We will hear back on April 1st about our lottery results, and then we will finally be able to move forward with next year's plans.