Friday, June 3, 2011

I'm Too Poor to Educate My Children

New York State has placed among the top states for education spending...again. It was reported that the Empire State spent over $18,000 (on average) PER STUDENT this year.  The majority of this money went towards teacher's salaries while the rest of it goes toward curriculum, food, building maintenance, extra-curricular activities, etc.

Interestingly enough, Rochester was one of the highest spending districts while producing some of the worst results in the country. Something tells me that money is not the answer to education in America.

My husband and I have 6 school-aged children. According to these statistics, we would have to make over $108,000 just to educate them this year. My husband doesn't even make half that figure and we buy curriculum, pay for several music lessons, have our children involved in a Homeschool co-op, art classes, soccer league (all of which cost money), take them on field trips, feed them 3 meals a day, insure them, house them in a decent home, drive them around in a decent vehicle, meet their needs and wants, and pay our school taxes. Thanks be to God, we are also debt-free.

So, New York! $18,000? Really?!

Homeschoolers willingly pay out of their own pocket for the essentials and non-essentials. If we want our children fed, we feed them. If we want them to learn to play an instrument, we find the teacher, pay for weekly lessons, and purchase the instrument. If we want them involved in sports, we find a league, pay for the uniforms, and drive them to the games. If our struggling learners need extra help, we find and pay for a tutor or invest more time to teach them ourselves.

New York State's educational system could learn much from homeschoolers. Schools need to focus on reading, writing, arithmetic, science, and history. The rest of the responsibility needs to go back to the parents. You'd be amazed at how the spending would decrease and the quality would increase.

- Vicki

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