well, i thought i had more time to figure this out, but clearly i don't. alexander is 4 and will be going to pre-school in the fall and then kindergarten the year after. but our school district is quickly going downhill and we hafta figure out what we're gonna do.
option 1: private or catholic school. this option could get really expensive really fast. the catholic school in our area is really good, but if you don't tithe enough, they add the difference to your tab every year. and even if you do tithe enough, it's still expensive. there's a great scholarship program for "children of color" here, but it doesn't start until 4th grade. but the fabulous thing about it is that they pay for everything from grade 4 on. but the competition is stiff and it's all about grades and financial need.
option 2: moving! in the long run, it would really just be cheaper to move into a better school district. but looking at the stats of the better school districts in the area they're pretty expensive and pretty un-diversified. according to one list i looked at, penn-trafford school district has one of the top 10 elementary schools in pennsylvania, but has 0.0% african american students. i don't want my kids to be "the only" (like i was a lot!), but i do want them to get a good education. i looked at another list that ranked schools by the amount of money allocated per student. some of the schools that were near the top were some of the worst in the state, so obviously that list was bunk!
but the final point is that our school district sucks. they're going to a "super-school" the year that alexander will be starting kindergarten, and i don't really want all 1200 elementary school students in one building with my 5 year-old. although people are fleeing penn hills like rats from a sinking ship, so there will probably only be a fraction of that number, but still! but moving makes me sad a little. it's be awesome to get a bigger house, cuz we're kinda outgrowing our little house, but i'd miss our neighborhood and our neighbors. most of the "better" school districts are farther out from the city and it's either new development, which is kinda sanitary with no mature trees, or kinda rural, where it would be impossible to run next door to borrow a cup of sugar. there's pros and cons to everything. we just have to figure out what's important and go from there.