Jody Becker, a writer and mother of two children, is one of the lucky ones. Because they can afford to live where they do, in a wealthy area of Orange County, Calif., her kids get to attend a top-notch public school, basically for free. Sure, even the so-called “blue ribbon” schools have been hit with cutbacks and, yes, even these schools rely on an outside revenue stream to educate the kids.
Because she doesn’t want her kid to be a free-rider, she’ll write the check. But that’s it. She says she won’t be volunteering as class mom.
Her in-class volunteer time she’ll spend fewer than five miles away in the nation’s most impoverished urban area.
Or maybe she’ll stay closer to home, where help is needed, too.
(Clarification: Becker will also continue volunteering at her child’s school.)
From the NY Times Motherlode blog:
If I don’t want to go that far, I can go back to the school district I graduated from, Newport-Mesa, and offer to help in a classroom on the Costa Mesa side, where the glaring imbalance in reading scores is embarrassing given the ample resources on the Newport Beach side. I could have done it last year, but I didn’t. Instead, I became part of the problem, after devoting my entire career to be part of the solution.
She used to be a reporter in Chicago, where she covered urban schools. She gets the disparity in education. She understands her own kids will be just fine.
I wonder if other parents will read this and consider, instead of “helping” their Kindergartner build a rocket-launcher for the district science fair, helping a kid whose mom doesn’t work for NASA — who can’t buy endless electronic supplies — with her science project instead.
I’m sure Becker’s home school can spare her.
What do you think? Can we agree that some kids really do have enough, right?