One of the most quoted verses in the Bible is Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it”. If your child is school “dazed”, not wanting to attend public school, consider the answer to the question of why.
As the 2023 school year comes to an end, teachers, administrators, and parents are analyzing what is going wrong with the public school system. Absenteeism is at an all-time high and not leveling out. Before the pandemic, 8 million U.S. students were considered in the chronically absent category.[i] That number rose to 16 million by the spring of 2022. The indicators suggest the number will grow. Contributors to absenteeism include transportation, mental and physical health concerns, inconsistent staffing, and political agendas.
With school budget cuts, the yellow school bus is becoming more and more obsolete. Not only have routes closer to school been eliminated but the remaining routes now come at a family cost. Some schools charge a flat rate of over $400/year and others offer reduced rates for multiple students in one household and charge per semester. In Keller Independent School District in Texas, those children who qualify for free and reduced lunches also receive a reduced transportation cost.[ii] Families scramble to fit driving their children to school into already busy schedules with some parents working multiple jobs to make ends meet.
“During pandemic-related lockdowns, it wasn’t just the spread of COVID-19 being halted. Inevitably, other infections also waned...lack of mixing in kids may have caused a drop in population-wide immunity.”[iii] This is causing parents to second guess sending young ones to school as the number of school children infected with flu, RSV and other viruses grow. The fear of illness carries over to the children who complain of headaches and stomachaches when they are in school.
During the pandemic, seasoned schoolteachers decided to take early retirement. This caused a shortage of teachers and an upsurge of new inexperienced staff. Administrators have found it necessary to shift personnel and schedules to facilitate the shortages. Programs that kept kids interested in school have been cut back. The state of Washington reported more teacher losses last year than in the three decades prior. [iv] This upheaval of staff causes parents and students to feel less confident in the public-school environment.
Christian families are questioning the public school WOKE agenda and are enrolling their children in private schools or choosing to homeschool. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynold’s new bill recently “scored a major victory” as one of the nation’s best school choice plans. She believes parents should decide the best environment for their children noting that the pandemic gave parents a “front-row seat” to what happens in the classroom.[v]
Whether you choose your child to be homeschooled, attend a Christian school or Public School, consider the training in the “way your child should go”. What is the best environment to accomplish that?
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[i]https://www.npr.org/2023/03/02/1160358099/school-attendance-chronic-absenteeism-covid [ii]https://www.publicschoolreview.com/blog/pay-to-ride-many-school-districts-now-charge-fees-to-ride-school-buses [iii]https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2023/02/other-infections-rising-since-covid-pandemic/ [iv]https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2023/03/06/more-teachers-quitting-than-usual-driven-stress-politics-data-shows/11390639002/ [v]https://www2.cbn.com/news/us/parents-have-had-it-iowa-gov-takes-woke-indoctrination-massive-school-choice-victory