I was intrigued by a tweet from David Webb a few days ago:
I found it intriguing because I've been hearing "through the grapevine" of similar things happening in at least three other states. More and more groups of families are banding together to hire a retired teacher, or one whom they trust who's just worn out by the school system bureaucracy and political correctness, to be a shared mentor and teacher to their children. The costs per family are reasonable; the kids get a quality education through their home-schooling curriculum, administered by someone who knows how to get through to them; and the teacher, while not making as much money as if in the school system, nevertheless earns a living. (If the arrangement is "under the counter", with payment in cash and/or in kind, not officially recorded, with no deductions, the teacher may actually be better off financially. Whether it's good to be "off the books" as far as Social Security and other factors are concerned is another matter, of course.)
I think this is one way that some parents are addressing the crisis pointed out by the Wall Street Journal.
Working parents going on six months without school or camp are about to take another hit: rising child-care costs.
Parents with school-age children are hiring sitters or paying for online classes they wouldn’t need if their children were in school. Some are lining up tutors or switching to private schools that plan to open for in-person learning. Parents with younger children are bracing for potentially higher charges at their day cares, which are straining to pay for protective gear and additional cleaning.
Child care and its costs might seem incidental in a global pandemic, but they are integral to the economy. For individual families, higher child-care expenses can range from troublesome to financially debilitating. Rising costs divert money from other purchases or investments, and many working parents said child-care costs prevent them from saving for a home. Yet without child care, parents are less productive at work—not to mention more stressed and tired.
“Here’s the deal,” said Misty Heggeness, an economist who wrote about the pandemic’s effect on working mothers for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. “If you care about U.S. economic growth … this should be one of the first areas of concern for you.”
. . .
Even under normal circumstances, paying for child care can be a struggle. Day care for a single child can easily cost $10,000 a year—about the average price of tuition and fees for a year at a public, in-state university—and more in big cities. The cost of child care and nursery school has risen at roughly twice the pace of inflation since 2000, according to the federal Consumer Price Index.
As the pandemic drags on, more parents are in the market for child-care services. School-age children now need sitters during the day. Many day cares have closed. Grandparents can’t fly in.
. . .
There isn’t definitive data yet on how much parents are paying for child care in the pandemic. But many companies and policy makers have been slow to grasp that child care is in crisis, economists say.
There's more at the link.
The next question, of course, is how the education establishment will move to counter this trend. The politically correct school boards and teachers' unions won't want to let go of any of their influence (not to mention funding). I expect to see restrictions imposed on parents' freedom of choice in this regard, perhaps demanding official licensing of such private tutors, or imposing "approved" syllabi that must be both endorsed by the school board and tested by regular examinations, or demanding commercial regulation (and insurance) of buildings used for the purpose, effectively blocking parents from using their homes for joint education of their children.
The same active interference is visible in some efforts to block parents from sending their children to charter or private schools, as Reason reports.
... in Los Angeles, the teachers union is exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to prevent competition from charter schools, which are seeing a surge of new applicants from desperate parents.
The United Teachers Los Angeles co-signed a document with nine other unions and the Democratic Socialists of America calling for a moratorium on all new charter schools and private voucher programs. A union-backed bill signed into law last October might accomplish that, as it gives local school boards more power to stop new charter schools from opening and existing ones from renewing their charters.
"It's about protecting a monopoly from losing any students and the funding that goes along with those students," says Corey DeAngelis, director of school choice at the Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes Reason TV.
He says entrenched interests are trying to stop families from exercising choice.
"If you really care about students and their safety, you should want more options for more students to be able to spread out in different locations," says DeAngelis. "And this doesn't do that. But what it does do is it allows the teachers unions to block students from switching to their competition."
. . .
Oregon and Pennsylvania have also cut off additional funding for charter schools. DeAngelis points to comments from the president of the state's association of school administrators in Pennsylvania, who stated his intention to handicap virtual charter schools.
"We're seeing this in a lot of different places, and it's putting the system in front of the needs of families—and in the worst time possible," says DeAngelis.
Again, more at the link. I expect similar steps to be taken to block expanded home-schooling opportunities, particularly because a backlash against established school districts appears to be growing. (In New York city, for example, a headline reads "Remote-only school requests jump by 40,000 in one week". I expect a large number of those requests may be linked to and/or a precursor for expanded home schooling.)
More and more, this is becoming an issue of parents' rights and individual freedom. The "nanny state", the bureaucrats and statists, want to control everything and everyone. The fruit of their efforts may be seen in the demonstrators, protesters and rioters on our streets. They've been "educated" in the "system", to the point of blind ignorance and arrant stupidity. They don't know how to think for themselves - they can only parrot progressive talking points, without understanding the culture, the rationale or the economics behind them.
Parents who embrace home schooling and/or charter and private schools automatically remove their children from that pernicious influence. That's why I expect the education establishment to mobilize every resource it can to block such growing moves towards independence, and to fight with might and main to keep their stranglehold on the youth of America. I think it's in all our best interests that they fail.
Bureaucrats certainly won't allow the system they've created to be reformed. Therefore, as far as I'm concerned, let them wither on the vine. Let good parents everywhere "opt out" of a failed system, and build a better one.