The nice thing about having a blog is that I can complain about whatever it is I want to complain about and no one can complain. Blogging = complaining – free-fire zone. Enter and you know what you’re in for.
There. On to some more bitching about the New York City public school Fuck You. Feel free to poke around on this site for earlier school complaint posts, mostly from me and Nathan. It’s a crash course in urban whingeing.
Now, for those of you not expert in the complexities of this nation’s free public education system, let me refresh your memory. Universal Pre-Kindergarten does not guarantee free pre-k education to all children. No, no. That would be too simple. Universal pre-k is only guaranteed to those children who apply … and get in. The chances of gaining entrance to one of the better public schools in New York is almost as remote as, I don’t know, getting into Harvard. In my son’s local school there were over 500 applications for about 50 spots last year. Good luck, Johnny!
In fact, JP has already been rejected. That was in May. Actually, JP got rejected by eight Brooklyn public schools. Does that mean he isn’t getting a free public education? No. That would be too simple (thank god: private pre-K would run about $20,000). JP was rejected on the first round of applications. He may still get in on the second round. Unfortunately, second-round applications aren’t even made available until the end of July, and notices aren’t sent out until “late August.” (Why doesn’t the Board of Education know when acceptances and rejections will be sent out? Only the Shadow knows.)
Meanwhile, as an inveterate gamer of the system, we already have JP on a waiting list at his local school. Apparently, we’re no. 2 on said list. Sounds good, right? Wrong. That list isn’t an actual, official list with the Board of Education. It’s an informal list that the local school registrar has put together to accommodate pushy parents. There’s no guarantee that this list will be used (the BOE may have its own list). Nor is there any guarantee that anyone will come in off of any list or that any second-round applicants will be accepted. There just may not be any open spots at all. And, oh yeah, we haven’t reserved a spot at the private pre-K because to do that you have to put down a several-thousand-dollar deposit—non-refundable, thank you very much.