Mary Russell is a Jarvisburg, N.C. parent of two children, each with unique learning needs. While a nearby private school can help with each child’s academic challenges, Mary and her husband are unable to afford tuition for both of them. Now they are forced into a decision no parent should have to make.
Below is Mary’s story in her own words:
We have two kids (ages 9 and 12) who have totally different learning styles. Our daughter has a hard time in larger classrooms, but because of No Child Left Behind they keep advancing her. Even tutors are not helping. Teachers told us they cannot hold her back any longer and will keep moving her on even if she is not ready. She is miserable and often comes home crying.
For a child to face that, knowing they’re going to fail because they’re having trouble, it’s hard for us, and her, to grasp. The private education she needs would allow her to have one-on-one focus to help her grow and help her learn what she’s supposed to be learning.
Our younger son catches on more easily. In the first few grades they moved him ahead, but now in third grade he is bored and they are not offering him curriculum or programs to help advance him anymore because they cater to the middle where most of the class is. The school says they can’t do any more. He is bored and not challenged.
Private education has smaller classes and would let him work at the advanced pace that he likes. Both of m my children would also receive one-on-one attention without being lost in the system. But right now, without the (N.C. Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program), we can’t send them to private school. In order to send one, we’ll have to sell my Jeep and my husband will have to take up a second job. We hate to have to send one to public and one to private but we don’t know how else to do it.
It’s painful because we have 2 children who are absolutely begging to go (to private school). And what we have to do is weigh the options because if the (tax credit program) doesn’t go through, who needs it more? Who can stay in public school and do the work and pass? No parent should have to do that and figure out which one….it hurts to know that my boy is very upset. It’s hard to explain to him that we don’t have the money to send him to a private school.
*On June 28, the N.C. Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program failed to pass the House Finance Committee and was therefore eliminated from further legislative consideration this year.
They come home upset from the type of environment in the public school… bullying in third grade, threats, inappropriate behavior. My husband and I both went to private schools and we know what kind of education you get there. We both work full time but it’s still not enough to send them there. I want to see both of them succeed in private school. We simply want to have options and the ability to choose.