Profiles in Education: Kristin and Johnathan

For many parents, the decision to put their children in private school comes after a bad experience in public school. For some, however, they decide against traditional public schooling right from the beginning. Today, we’ll look at Kristin, Johnathan, and their two daughters, who are staying away from public school from the word “go.”

Kristin and Johnathan both grew up attending public schools, aside from Kristin’s year in kindergarten. However, when they began considering schooling options for their own children (daughters aged 5 and 2), they decided against the public option.  Johnathan had considered a career in early childhood education and, seeing the public school system first-hand, they decided it was not what they wanted for their own children, due to curriculum and class sizes among other things. It was then that they began to explore other options.

Class sizes were a definite consideration for this family. When classes get too big (28+ in one classroom!), Kristin said “I feel like less time is actually spent teaching…it makes it difficult to meet every child’s needs.” Kristin spoke with her mother-in-law, a public school teacher, and began to believe that public schools “slow down the entire learning process…I want my daughter to excel in school and not be held back from learning what she needs and wants because of government policies.”

Of course, the decision to send children to private school is also a financial one. Kristin is a stay at home, coupon-clipping mom, so Johnathan works his regular job, umpires baseball and referees wrestling to cover the cost of tuition. Things like a new truck for Johnathan have to be set aside for now because, as Kristin said, “We aren’t struggling but we still sacrifice for our daughters’ lives so they can grow up as healthy and happily as possible. It’s all about priorities!” 

Of course, a good education shouldn’t require sacrifice. While middle-class families such as this one struggle to make ends meet to get a good education, low-income families are unable to do so. Many of them do not have the option to pay for private schools.  School choice would even the playing field and ensure that every child gets a good education.