How we chose the public schools
To the Editor:
In 2012, choosing an elementary school for our daughter felt like a matter of subtraction. We aren't Catholic, so we crossed religious schools off our list. I was working part time as a community college English professor, so we crossed the more expensive private schools off our list. I knew my patience limit enough to know that home-schooling was never on the list. After all of these subtractions, the local public school was the only one left.
But school choice isn't a subtraction problem where the public school is the last answer. After four years in the public schools, I understand that our choice was actually a matter of addition. We can easily walk to school, meeting neighbors along the way, adding a deeper sense of community to our lives. Our daughter is receiving an excellent education, feeling both challenged and supported by her teachers. She is learning to value herself and others—classmates with unique perspectives and backgrounds dramatically different from her own. Field trips, gifted services, art and music, and extracurricular activities all add inestimable benefits to her life experience.
Choosing a school for your child is a complex equation that requires more than basic arithmetic. We chose public and are very glad we did. I fervently hope the school levy passes, so that current and prospective families can do the math and end up with the same answer we did, not because it's the last choice but because it's the best choice: public school.