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05/27/2010

What School Choices?

©2007 Jenna HatfieldThere's a problem I wish we had: where to send our kids to school. We have two options: our local, underfunded school district or the local, overpriced Catholic school. Neither of which are remotely appealing. When I hear stories about people being bummed that they were turned down from their top three choices, I want to cuss. And cry. And whine a little. I probably turn a darker shade of green as well.

In rural Ohio and even smaller cities of Ohio, there are no choices, no options. You simply go to the school in your district. We're lucky in that there is a private school option. Unfortunately, we can't afford it but, I guess I should be pleased that it's available.

The fact of the matter is that if you don't live in a good school district, you're out of luck. Unless you want to move to a better school district, you have to deal with where you live. Some people find that to be an acceptable thing. They sell and move. For our family, it's not an option. My husband's job requires us to live within a nine mile radius of our city. Two of the school districts on the edge of that radius are even worse. One is great and, as you might guess, the houses are entirely unaffordable in that area.

We've been having arguments about these issues as I did all of our research this spring. Our oldest son still has eleven months before he'll need to be registered for school. I'm not looking forward to the process. I don't even know where we'll be living at that point as we haven't ruled out the idea of putting our house on the market. And, no, I haven't entirely ruled out homeschooling. I'll make the most of it, whatever the outcome, because that's the type of personality I have; it's how I survive.

I get it when parents complain that they aren't going to get the education they had hoped for their child. I have compassion for that as I live that on a daily basis. But the next time that you want to complain about the choices you have regarding schools for your children, be glad you have any. Use your frustration to become an advocate for your child. That's what I'm going to do.

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This is an original Ohio Moms Blog post.

Jenna Hatfield, aka @FireMom, is a freelance writer and newspaper photographer. She blogs at Stop, Drop & Blog and The Chronicles of Munchkin Land. She is a Contributing Editor at Mom Central Technology.

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