Saturday, August 9, 2008

Crack town here we come

We are trying to get 7 kids ready for school, and it is hard but fun. I thought it was bad last year when we had to get 5 kids ready for school. Now with the boys heading off to kindergarden, we need 7 backpacks. We need 7 new pairs of shoes. (It actually came out to more, because the girls got 2 pairs) We need new school-clothes for 7. School supplies. Haircuts. I have been doing a lot on ebay and amazon, and we are headed to the flea-market today. This is expensive, but it is also a really fun time for them. They don't often get new clothes/shoes etc., and I love to see the excitement in their eyes. Also I remember school shopping as a kid. I loved it.

We made a decision on where to send the kids this year, and I am struggling with the decision we made. Our town (let's call it little town) is in 2 different couties (let's call them redneck county and crack county.) The county line is 1 mile up the country road. The majority of little town is located in redneck county, and we have a redneck county mailing address, but we live in crack county. The closest store is 2.5 miles, and on the redneck side of the county line. The elementary school is 12 miles in the crack county district.

The middle and high schools in little town are very good, and are located in redneck county. The middle and high schools in crack county are not very good schools, and are much further from us. It used to be, that when you had a little town address, your kids went to little town schools. Unfortunately, a few years back, little town schools merged with redneck county schools. They fought the merger, but little town could not stand up to redneck county. Now they are very strict on where your house is located, and even if you have a little town address, if you are in crack county, you have to go to crack county schools.

Rick's brother lives in little town, in the redneck county district. We strongly considered using his address so that our kids could attend redneck county schools. The pros of this decision are that they are much closer to us, much safer, and receive much higher scores. The cons are that the kids elementary, so all of their friends are going to crack county. Also the little town bus wont run to our house any more. It stops 1 mile up at the county line. And most importantly, the kids would have to lie about their address.

Now I know that if you are going to tell a lie, this is a perfectly good reason to. This is the kids education we are talking about. Also their safety. But, this is not a one-time lie. The kids would have to tell this lie on every form they fill out, every teacher that asks. Every field-trip form, Every medical form, even their friends, just in case. We looked into how much it would cost to legally send our kids to little town schools, and it is $1200 per kid per year. We have 7 kids. This is just not an option for us.

So after much deliberation, we decided to send our kids to crack county schools, and hope for the best. We are especially worried about Andrew. Rick and I drove down to crack town middle school, because we had never been there. We found it, navigating through the projects (I am not kidding), and I cried. There were broken beer and wine bottles everwhere, and their equipment was all rusted out. The field was overgrown, and the little running-track used to be paved, probably years ago and is now over-grown with grass and weeds. I'm sad.

Now don't get me wrong, I have had many people tell me that their kids went to crack town school with no problems, but I have also heard horror strories. Crack town has a gang problem. I'm sad and I'm scared. But, on a lighter note, the kids are ecstatic that they get to stay with their friends. Also, Brooke and Brittney will get to finish out their IB charter program, and will meet up with the other's in crack town high school.

No comments: