We’ve been getting jerked around for many months now and I’m sick of it. It started with “30 days to slow the spread,” which turned into 180+ days of what feels like living in an insane asylum. Restaurants then started forcing people to wear a mask to walk from the door to the table where you can then take it off (because COVID doesn’t attack you when you’re at a table or something). Remember when doctors told us that while riots and protests for Black Lives Matter were more important than coronavirus safety, protesting the lockdown should be a prosecutorial offense? Good times.
The latest chain-yanking going on in my neck of the woods was the thrilling announcement that school would be opening on schedule and in person–wait…scratch that–nope, that’s not happening anymore. That was last week. Instead, they’re going to do a “hybrid” model of two days on then three days off then three days on and two days off every other week. If you thought it was bad trying to remember what day hot lunch was, imagine trying to figure out this schedule. I have looked at it fifteen times since this morning and I still don’t understand it.
This “hybrid” model isn’t what the parents in my community want: we all voted for in-person school, but it seems the teachers won’t show up to do their jobs more than two days a week (or is it three?). Now that I have one child going to public high school I get to have all these public school problems. The private school my other two are enrolled in get to go back full-time because that school is run by sane people (unfortunately, they have no high school). But the public school is being led around by teachers’ unions that somehow got the school to agree to pay teachers full-time salaries for part-time work. What a scam!
I want my money back.
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My property taxes are high. Really high. New York has the highest property tax in the nation and a big chunk of that goes to the public schools. If I told you how high my property tax is most of you would choke on your salads, so I won’t, but imagine a tax bill so high it hurts and then imagine getting a notice telling you that the recipients of that bill aren’t going to do the work you contracted them to do. Instead, you’re required to do half of the work but get none of the money back. That’s the situation we are in.
How are children supposed to be at home half of the time when parents work? I’m assuming that this “hybrid” model only works now because most companies are still working from home. But what happens when those companies call mom and dad back to work? Where’s junior supposed to go on the two (or is it three?) days he’s at home unsupervised? Or are we going to pretend that teenagers are completely trustworthy and will self-regulate and find joy in discipline all of a sudden?
What is this madness and why is no one saying anything about it? Why are we agreeing to do this? And please, stop telling everyone to homeschool. I’m a homeschooling veteran. I did it for six years and I’m completely worn out. Not only that, but my work schedule does not allow for it anymore. There are plenty of parents in my situation who need to work in order to pay the bills and cannot become homeschoolers.
Further, homeschooling relies heavily on being able to take the children to museums, libraries, concerts, plays, and experiences that simply do not exist anymore. The homeschooling future is looking as bleak as public schooling. There’s nowhere to go. Nothing to do. Homeschoolers don’t sit in their house all day and stare at a computer screen, they get out and explore. But now there are so many closures and restrictions, I wouldn’t even want to try! I avoid the grocery store, so I can’t even imagine trying to go to a museum during this panic. No one needs the aggravation anymore.
Someone is going to have to explain to me why I have to continue to pay the state to educate my child and everyone else’s when they are going to do a half-assed job and leave the rest to me without paying me a salary to do it. Because I’m quite sure that the first time my kid doesn’t turn something in or is struggling in something, it’s going to be me they turn on and will expect me to fix it.
The solution to all of this is for the state to refund this year’s property taxes and extra on top just for the inconvenience of what they’ve done to us. That money can then go to hire a governess or tutors to teach kids what they need to learn. And if they aren’t going to do that, then cancel school entirely and quit the dog-and-pony show. Send the money back and let everyone have a year off. Shutter the schools, close them all down and stop playing these games with people.
The reason we’re all signing up and registering our kids for this hell is that we know deep down that if we don’t and just say “Screw it! Let’s take the year off,” like we should, child welfare will be on our doorsteps to drag our kids off to foster care. They’ve got us by the sensitive bits and there isn’t a damn thing we can do about it.
How does that make you feel?