Married parents and the public school exit.

No matter how many ways you slice the onion, it’s becoming more and more the case that married parents are exiting or very strategically accessing the public school system.  This poses real medium and long term issues regarding funding and support for public school teachers.

What does exit mean?  It means 30%+ of married parents’ kids are outside the public school system or inside it via de facto segregation tactics like specialized, high-parent-participation “options” or outright effective magnets/charters within a larger public school.  About 15% are in private schools, with a steady increase in private Protestant schools specifically (although the general private school split is 45% Catholic, 40% Protestant, and secular bringing up the rump end at around 15%.  The classical Christian academy is maturing away from co-op models to full-time private schools all over the country.  Another approximately 7% are homeschooling full time, typically longer than a year but less than full K-12.  Another 8-10% are doing various combinations of specialized public school programs, homeschooling using the public school curriculum (public-private partnership, “alternative educational approach”, the various names for this make it hard to break out on its own), and mixed schooling (combining several part-time school options).

Homeschooling is completely normalized now as an option to include in the college prep race among the very parents who dominate married parenthood, the college educated majority.  It’s not part of a “fundie fringe”, it’s something a double digit percentage of married parents do for at least one year between K-12.

Also, kids just never stop costing money now, because all these options have costs in time and money.  Either you’re writing checks, one parent is not working full time or outside the home, or both.  The other side of it is that public schools push fringier and fringier views on the remaining children whose parents can’t optimize them into a special program where that stuff doesn’t come up or is cheerfully waivered out.  Where I live, essentially in our version of the higher-end NYC public magnet schools, an example fringy goal is to teach transgender advocacy to kindergarteners in the “regular” public schools.    It’s already approved, implementation is coming in another school year or so.

So even the very liberal parents who might be fine with this in junior high are making plans to do for-pay K or even K-3, on top of 7k/mo mortgages and 1k/mo property taxes to pay 100k salaries to teachers and 150k salaries to administrators who added this stuff to the curriculum.  Exit isn’t cheap, and it’s not getting cheaper, but it is increasing over time anyway.  This is not a stable equilibrium.

 

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Less than 25% of America’s businesses have paid employees.

“The majority of all business establishments in the United States are nonemployers, yet these nonemployer establishments average less than 4 percent of all sales and receipts nationally.”

“Most nonemployers are self-employed individuals operating a very small unincorporated business, which may or may not be the owner’s principal source of income.”

Here’s a handy chart of how the nonemployers are distributed by industry.

two-thirds-nations-businesses-do-not-have-paid-employees-figure-1

“The three states with the largest percentage of nonemployer establishments are Texas (79.5 percent), Georgia (79.4 percent) and Florida (79.0 percent). North Dakota is the only state where more than 30 percent of the establishments have paid employees.”

Interesting what the surrounding context is for self-employment these days.

Excerpts and chart from the census, here.

Fast facts about married parent income compared to all households (2017 numbers).

Things have changed a bit for 2017, mostly because a bunch of kids aged out and there’s way fewer married households with under-18 kids around.

Less than 9% of all households making under 50k/yr are married with under-18 kids.

About 20% of all households making 50-99k/yr are married with under-18 kids.

About 30% of all households making 100-149k/yr are married with under-18 kids.

About 35% of all households making 150k/yr or more are married with under-18 kids.

Lost percentage at the very bottom and the tippy top.

Source: 2017 ACS data on household income in the past 12 months.

September reading update

I read 8 books for this month.

I finished the last two books in the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy.  It was pop cheese, but there was also a lot of emotional resonance with the wartime love that was a major subtext of the trilogy and a major plot point in the last book.  On an ACU scale, the series was quite authentic and universal but not all that great on craft.

I continued with Alt-Hero, there’s a dozen or so planned in the initial crowdfunded set, so I’ll be reading at least that far with this alternate history comic book world.

I read an amazing book by Margaret Kennedy and it is a rare instance of reading without spoilers being absolutely appropriate.  It is called The Feast and even reading the book jacket is not recommended, because for some weird reason the publishers spoiled the entire book there.  It’s a tour de force.  I look forward to continuing to read her work, she is a most astonishing and excellent writer who is unjustly consigned to dustbins even among people who like old books.

I also read four Kate Wilhelm books.  She is known for her “clone wars” book Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, and I finally read that and a bunch of her short stories in various collections.  She is a better writer than her husband Damon Knight, but that’s not high praise.  She mostly writes deeply authentic character fiction about people in her area, but with sci-fi sprinkles.  Her clone novel is full of 70s ideas, with all the bad that entails and little of the good.

So, 72  books down, 28 to go.

 

The real choice addiction: educating the kids in the Lion’s Den.

Private bilingual Montessori?  If so, which of French, Spanish, German?

Classical public schools? If so, Latin plus Greek or Latin plus Hebrew? And what about the optional extracurricular travel options?

Plain old Montessori? If so, public or private?

Waldorf? Lol, no.

Classical Christian, or just plain Christian?

Public gifted or private gifted?

Homeschool?  Co-op, public-partnership, or fly solo?  But if solo, what about all the tutoring services for homeschoolers offering flexible schedules and a wide range of curriculum?  And oh wait, they also serve some of the co-ops?

I don’t even have to drive to a lot of it.  But I also have no idea what on earth to do because I want the kids to thrive educationally, but I also want them to be adaptable and able to do basic housework and life planning.

We’re still trying to narrow the scope.