This is my daughter:
Last year, after 5 years at a public school where she was bullied for her race and seldom had her 504 followed, we made the financially difficult decision to put her in a private school.
This year has been wonderful. Her grades have improved exponentially, and her love of school returned.
Next year she has no school to go to.
Attendance at the private school required we buy a second car (we’ve always been a one-car family) and pay tuition, so those two payments added together equalled a second mortgage payment a month. And, yeah, it was difficult. Many times many bills went unpaid, but we finally made it and got everything caught up.
Meanwhile the private school quietly went out of business. And it knew it was going out of business when we signed up, and it never told us. We were lied to.
And when it was out in the open that it was going out of business we were told by the principal that we were going to get in. And we didn’t. We were lied to again.
And when the Christmas/winter break came the principal told my daughter that she was going to put her in chair of animal care for the next year, and when I asked if that meant my daughter was getting in, the principal said yes. We were lied to, and my daughter was lied to, again.
The state bought the building and turned it into a charter elementary school with exactly the continuation of the small school sizes my daughter needs, and the exact same faculty and staff, in other words, the state took over the school without calling it that.
AND, they only let kids in through a random lottery, and my daughter was not chosen.
IN FACT only one child currently in 4th grade at the private school was chosen, and his father was head of the board of the private school, and his father arranged the sale of the building to the public school, and his father also was second in command at Dogfish Head Brewery for a large part of its existence, so his father is a local and statewide big mahoff. AND ISN’T IT NICE AND LUCKY that of ALL the kids in the private school’s 4th grade class the ONLY kid who got “randomly chosen” was the son of the local big mahoff who sold the building to the state? Isn’t that special and fair?
Well, of course, it is neither.
And isn’t it interesting that my state, the State of Delaware, to which I pay taxes to run this very school we are not allowed into and to which I also pay taxes to run the horrible school where my daughter was bullied and not educated, isn’t it interesting that the state has NO control over this situation, and isn’t it interesting that though the state has expressed to me that they feel I ought to be able to have my daughter go to that school, they cannot get her admitted there because, though it is a state school, they have no control over it?
It is interesting.
One question I have is this:
WHAT ARE CHARTER SCHOOLS FOR IF THEY ARE NOT TO PROVIDE A REFUGE TO CHILDREN RUNNING AWAY FROM THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS?
In the state of Delaware, under our Democratic governor, charter schools appear to exist solely to educate the white and wealthy who want to escape the brown and low-income.
To be fair, I am not low-income. I am middle-income. I am also white, but my daughter is Chinese and that is not easy to be in Sussex County, Delaware.
You know, I wouldn’t hurt a fly. In fact, I am actually known to trap the most terrifying bugs in Tupperware and release them to the outdoors.
And I feel a rage within me that my daughter is getting screwed by public school yet again, and I am powerless, absolutely powerless to help.
And so, all day long, on this, our second rejection by the school (one poor sap at the state level had been trying to help me, but he is also as impotent as me), I am calling and emailing and wracking my brain to try to figure out how to change this situation from what it currently is.
And what is the current situation?
We can send our daughter back to the shoddy teaching and bullying she experienced at her old public school, or we can homeschool.
In the meantime, though it eats at me and keeps me up at night and ruins my self-esteem and makes me want to weep, I am continuing to call and email every person I can think of, none of whom can help or care. Because that is what parents do. It is one of our suckier jobs. Parents look at the faces of their children, and they have to keep trying.
And I guess I suck, because I am small and powerless, though I have worked my ass off my whole life educating other people’s children. I should have run a stupid brewery, then people would think I am a great person, simply because I make beer.