Friday, July 6, 2007


For parents with children, the quality of schools is a big motivator as to where they live. In areas with a large influx of illegal immigrants, public schools become less attractive to those parents. Unless it is a magnet school or a school with a good honors program, teachers will have to spend more time with non-English or limited English speakers. Even then, the kids will face increased chaos and decreased bonds with fellow students.

So how to solve the problem for those without the money to live in a good school district, those who don’t want to spend 50% of their income on a mortgage or private school, or those who have plenty of money but do not like aspects of the upper class lifestyle, namely spoiled children and “keeping up with the Joneses?” (This seemed to be traits I noticed among some kids who were in the very well off neighborhoods. Certainly not always the lower class with problems).

First, I would suggest living in a more affordable area that is still relatively safe. If enough people do this in a neighborhood, the nearby public schools can have enough kids who share the same goals and language. The parents could lobby for some type of charter school. However, if this isn’t the case or if the teachers are not what the parents would prefer, cheap private schools could be a solution.

I don’t know if states require private school teachers to have education degrees, I don’t think so. If not, this might make recruiting teachers easier. To reduce costs, students perform many of the tasks schools currently pay to have done: mowing the grounds, taking out the trash, vacuuming, etc. This has the added benefit of teaching humility. Also, as the school will be in a less expensive area, rent costs will be lower.

Donations could be requested from community members (whether they have children or not), former students, and local businesses. Those better off would perhaps be willing to give more than others; if they have children themselves, they are also serving their self interest since their children get the benefit of decent classmates whose parents otherwise could not afford tuition.

I would also suggest parents having at least three children. This will increase the number of those in the community who are interested in forming social bonds and it will make it more likely that a public school will be built in the community neighborhood as there will be more students. Community members could babysit for those families where both parents work or the family could have children close together so the stay at home parent could go back to work sooner, if she (or he) so desired. Private schools would also have more customers, and could therefore possibly give discounts to parents with more children.

I have ideas on how to keep insurance costs for teachers low, but that will be in another post on how to keep insurance lower for everyone.

These ideas should help keep tuition affordable. Hopefully.

1 comment:

T2 said...

Thank you for your thoughtful remarks. I find the issue of illegal immigration very difficult to grapple with and appreciate your perspective. My community is feeling the economic strain from the ever increasing number of illegal immigrants.