Why I send my black son to private school
Michelle Maltais
18619

I don’t begrudge anyone who has to make this decision. It’s really not a decision at all: everyone wants the best for their children and in our musical chairs inspired economy, no one wants their child to be left without a seat. Parents fight and they ought to.

But I’m going to inject some things for consideration.

Consider the cycle that spins ever downward: public schools in black neighborhoods have a low tax base, which contributes to schools being underfunded and under sourced, which contributes to low teacher pay, which contributes to low performance. To get a little meta on the last two: consider that teachers have probably adopted this low-bar to their students because the they know the game *is* stacked against them and they don’t always have the resources to make it right (which I don’t agree with in any way nor feel there is justification for — but I understand it). When middle class blacks like myself move into the neighborhood, and export our tax dollars to better and/or private schools in other communities, we contribute to the problem. We get our own kids out of trouble, but we leave the rest in the lurch.

So I propose part of the ideal solution is to not send our children out of the neighborhood (where that’s possible — it certainly is not in many areas and I don’t think it right for any families to take on undue risk to compensate for a system that’s failing them). Protest the low standards in the schools. Complain about the teachers. Go to the town/city council and let them know the schools suck and you’re paying for more than what they’re giving. In other words, fight for better schools for ALL children, not just the ones in our home.

Again, I don’t begrudge any parents these hard decisions and I’m not a believer in asking undue sacrifice or burden on any family, especially black. But I don’t think schooling is undue burden. If we want better communities, we have to fight for them (as unfortunate as that is). But exporting the education is not a solution.

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