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Serious school advice

October 24th, 2010 at 03:30 pm


**Update**
Hubby and I just talked about all this again, and we have come to some agreements. We are starting to be on the same page. Let's hope the progress continues***

So, in two years, our baby will be starting kindergarten. We're faced with a dilemma. We live in the city school district, which frankly, is crap.

I did the math, and IF tuition did not increase (which it will ), we would be paying a minimum of $128,000 for 1-12 grades for two kids in the least expensive private school in our area.

It pains me, but I say moving to a good school district may be our best option. Love our house, but I keep running the numbers and none of them are good.

That tuition money -- I feel-- should be going into their college savings accounts, not for tuition.

We would have to pay more for an equivalent house in a decent school district, and we may even have a longer commute, both of which would suck, but I think in the long term it might keep us in better financial shape.

Also, when the kids are about high school age, we will have two aging parents -- one of whom lives 16 hours away-- and or be inheriting his parent's land, which has PROPERTY TAXES ALONE of $50,000 a year. That isn't a typo. They get senior citizen discounts that reduce that to about $20,000 a year, but we would not qualify for those.

Around that time, we will also have to begin paying for two college educations.

Hubby refuses to recognize that we have this potentially huge expense on the horizon. And he insists that he wants to keep the land.

I only bring this up because hubby and I were talking then arguing about it today. He says we'll be fine, even if we have to pay tuition, but I disagree.

Any of you had to move for schools? Is it worth it to just stay put?

11 Responses to “Serious school advice”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    I would seriously think about moving.

  2. Petunia Says:

    I haven't moved for schools. . . but I have discovered that if there is an issue looming in our future I have to work on DH for YEARS to get him to the point of readiness to deal with it. Painful, but there it is. You may be doing the same with school options and his parent's land.

  3. ThriftoRama Says:

    I just want to make sure we stay on good financial footing given the obligations we are facing.

  4. crazyliblady Says:

    Have you considered homeschooling?

  5. ThriftoRama Says:

    I don't believe in homeschooling. No offense to anyone, but it's just not for us.

  6. baselle Says:

    I'd think about moving also. Are the schools crap beginning in kindergarten, do they turn into crap in later grades?

  7. MonkeyMama Says:

    Personally, I wouldn't move for a school. For one, rumors are often untrue. Have you really spent any time in these schools? Do you really know what they are like? Most people I know judge schools and move based on test scores and rumors. (& the rumors tend to be a little ridiculous). Secondly, if you live in a large metro area, there are probably tens if not hundreds of other options. Charter schools or ways to get into other districts, etc., etc. What I would do now is start talking to other parents and hearing what less expensive options are out there.

    If you live in the middle of nowhere and don't have any other options, so be it.

    I think a lot of my feelings come from going to an excellent public high school with a horrible reputation. I mean I remember my parents' friends refused to send their kids because of all the "gangs." Pffft. Rolleyes On the flip side, I have a friend of very meager means who sends her kids to all the best schools around. She just knows what her options are. She may have waited on a waitlist a year or 2, but got her kids into the schools she wanted to. Between that and the charter schools in our own district, I can see there are a lot of options available to those who look.

    We will save a small fortune with our own appraoch to school. Our kids are getting an excellent public education - and they don't go to their "assigned public school."

  8. MonkeyMama Says:

    Personally, I wouldn't move for a school. For one, rumors are often untrue. Have you really spent any time in these schools? Do you really know what they are like? Most people I know judge schools and move based on test scores and rumors. (& the rumors tend to be a little ridiculous). Secondly, if you live in a large metro area, there are probably tens if not hundreds of other options. Charter schools or ways to get into other districts, etc., etc. What I would do now is start talking to other parents and hearing what less expensive options are out there.

    If you live in the middle of nowhere and don't have any other options, so be it.

    I think a lot of my feelings come from going to an excellent public high school with a horrible reputation. I mean I remember my parents' friends refused to send their kids because of all the "gangs." Pffft. Rolleyes On the flip side, I have a friend of very meager means who sends her kids to all the best schools around. She just knows what her options are. She may have waited on a waitlist a year or 2, but got her kids into the schools she wanted to. Between that and the charter schools in our own district, I can see there are a lot of options available to those who look.

    We will save a small fortune with our own appraoch to school. Our kids are getting an excellent public education - and they don't go to their "assigned public school." We didn't have to look very far and took a bit of a gamble on a new charter school, but I know for middle school that we have a lot of homework and research to do. Private school is not off the table - but at least that would only be 3 years per kid. But truthfully, I believe we can find a public option.

  9. ThriftoRama Says:

    I have spent some time at the local school. On the surface, it seemed to be what we wanted, but the principal recently changed and it has gone down hill. It also feeds into crappier and crappier schools starting at 4th grade. We could do lotteries and such, but there are no guarantees. And the charter schools around here are plagued with problems, and seem to only last a couple of years before going bust and closing up. I don't want that kind of uncertainty. The whole thing is a huge headache.

    Also, for lotteries at the best public options, it's "diversity" based, so I doubt a school would want to pick our two giant blond white boys to fill a spot when there are equally qualified kids of other races. Sad, but true.

    Our plan is to go to every school open house we can until we find one that feels right. My best friend is also an education researcher and spends a lot of time in all of the schools. She has been very helpful. I'm not looking at just test scores.

  10. Ralph Says:

    Whatever you decide, you are definitely on the right track to be thinking of college expenses nice and early.

    Luckily we live in an excellent school district, but we pay for it in property taxes, so now that the kids are out we really should move, but we both love it here, so for now we are buckling down and tolerating the taxes, but sadly, when I eventually retire or become underemployed, staying here will not be easy.

    I bring all this up just to show how the calculus of trying to stay solvent, especially for those of us with kids, is continuous. Smile

  11. ThriftoRama Says:

    Thanks, Ralph. I know you are right. The property taxes will go from about $2800 a year to about $4000 once we move. Much cheaper than tuition.

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