So there are two articles in the Times today about public schooling your kids in NYC. My baby isn't two yet, but I'm kinda already having palpitations about it.
The first one is The Sudden Charm of Public School. This article makes the point that given the economic downturn, lots of parents who were sending their kids to swanky NYC private schools, or who were planning to send their kids to swanky NYC private schools, are now trying to get them into public schools. And the high-demand, best-performing public schools now have a glut of applications and not enough slots necessarily, even for kids who live in the zones. And here's where it gets icky...people are even faking that they live in these zones to get preference. Either renting apartments there that they don't necessarily live in or "moving in" with family. Borrowing addresses. I knew all this was coming but....really??? YUCK!
The second article, Don't Move Until the School Secretary Says It's O.K. discusses many of the same topics, with the focus on making the choice to move into a zone that contains a highly ranked school. Resources offered for researching schools include other parents and the independent website InsideSchools.org. Also talks about people without kids choosing to buy in zones with good schools to up the resale values of their homes.
Now may I say, when we moved into this apartment we were planning to have children. But it never even crossed our minds to look into the school district. Let me repeat: never even crossed our minds. Can I have a rousing: Duh? DUH!
Not that it would have made that much difference. This apartment is great. We would have taken it no matter what. The neighborhood is great. The parks are great. There's a Starbucks within spitting distance. Really good bagels. But the neighborhood school is less than great.
What I realize basically, is that I am at the beginning of a big long journey. And if we choose to stay here in NYC (which for the time being seems likely) I am going to be taking on the full time job of my baby's school agent. Oh I can hire someone to do it for me. This is New York after all. But I'm pretty sure that's not gonna happen. Ok P.S. 1-2-Holy-Crap-What-Are-We-Getting-Into...here I come.