Sunday, March 1, 2009

Making Choices!

My good friend Juli, over at "Abundantly Blessed" blog site has really been struggling with her daughter's schooling this past year.  I won't give you all the details since you could go over and read them yourself, but suffice it to say, she's had to make some difficult choices this year. Along with all the privileges and joys of parenthood, there's also a mountain of tough choices that need to be made.  And while I'm not to the point yet, I can only imagine that it's even more difficult when those tough choices have to be made by the child and I cannot make the decisions for them.  I'm guessing it gets more complicated when the child makes the wrong choice (aka, not MY choice :) but this is why we have a loving Savior who draws us to Him and longs to help us in every aspect of our lives.
With all of that said, our local area is holding a special election right now.  It involves school issues, which means, higher property taxes if the levies pass.  This is a genuine struggle for me because as a home school parent I do not take advantage of the public education system, so it's tough for me to vote to raise my taxes when I won't see the benefit of those tax dollars.  The catch-22 is that when the public school's update their facilities my husband's company often wins the bid to upgrade all of the technology, and that obviously means he's staying busy at work.
I ALMOST think I liked it better when my only choices in life were Lucky Charms or Fruit Loops.....almost.


Clare said...

That is part of the reason we joined the military. :) I feel you, though. Making choices is so hard, especially when both alternatives are not the greatest. I also hate it when I make the "right" choice and it doesn't make any difference. I guess it is one of God's ways to remind me He is in charge.

Juli said...

Ok, now that I teach in the public school system I have an opinion on this subject.

First, I don't know whether you are voting on a bond or a levie. Simply put, Bonds are for "Buildings" and Levies are for "Learning". Bonds remodel, build new, upgrade athletic playing fields (Basketball court, resurface tenniscourts, etc.)

Right now we are in the middle of a Bond in my school district. Five of our elementary schools are in desperate need of remodeling. There has not been any new improvements to these schools in 30 years. So in WA state each child is alloted approx 90sq ft. So imagine a home of 2,000 sq ft that has housed about 22 kids in it for 30 years. The carpet is the same, the vinyl is the same, same fixtures in the bathrooms, etc. What do you think your house would look like? And that is on the outside. The infrastructure (pipes, heating and cooling, etc) is also 30 year old. The technology has changed a lot in 30 years!

I understand the feeling of not using it and not wanting to pay for it. But, how well our generations learn has a lot to say about what our future looks like. Do you enjoy paying your taxes to support people on welfare? You don't get a choice on this one; our taxes help pay for this. And the amount spent is going up every year.

I would argue education can have a large impact on social services. Just a thought...

Rachel said...

Actually we voted on 1 bond and 1 levy.

I don't like supporting welfare either, but that option does not show up on a ballot, while the school support does, so when it comes to welfare I don't have a choice, but with schools I do.

I know it's always a sensitive subject "home schooling issues vs. public/private school issues" and since I obviously know people who do both, I tried to be diplomatic in the wording of my blog. Sorry if I missed the boat.

Juli said...

Ok, there must have been some miscommunication because I don't think you missed the boat at all! I totally know how you feel. My point is if we take care of the generations to come, then maybe we won't have to spend so much of our "we don't have a choice" money on thing like welfare.

Jessa's new teacher just said to me today, we need to meet and discuss everything Jessa needs to catch up on. A LOT of things she needs to catch up on! Well great to know not only was she unable to be a 4th grader there, but now she is behind in 3rd grade too. Not feeling very positive about her public school education today.

I also know what kindof lives so many of these kids are coming from. I guess feel like all some of these kids have is a teacher and school that cares about them.

Very interesting that your school district is running a levy and a bond at the same time. That tells me one of these didn't pass the last time.

Rachel said...

Unless I misread the ballot, a couple of schools need to upgrade their facilities and a few others need new computers and what not.

You made the comment that you weren't really happy with the education Jessa received, so to go with your example, we're funneling all this money into the school system and it's STILL failing the kids, and yet the schools want MORE money? Hmmmmm?

I have to say, I really commend you for teaching public school. I don't have the temperament for it, and by teaching my kids myself, at least when I get aggravated at the teacher, I only have myself to blame :)