If you have been reading my blog for a while you know that the kids used to be enrolled in a charter school that caters to homeschoolers. For years I put up with all the bureaucracy that came with being enrolled in a charter school because of the money the children received for their education. We used this money to pay for curriculum, materials, and classes.
The first couple of years with the charter I was very happy. The charter was very hands-off. We had to do state testing each year, and we had to meet with an ES once a month. It was a good trade-off, a little of our time each month for $1800.00 a year per kid.
After the first couple of years the school started to change. The changes were small at first, but they kept happening. Every year more regulations, rules, and tests. In addition to the changes, the school was growing by leaps and bounds, so new ESs (Education Specialists) were hired for all the new students. This is when I started to get annoyed. One ES would have rules that another ES wouldn’t. I would tell one family what our requirements were, and this family would have completely different requirements, then another family would have different requirements from either of us. It seemed terribly inconsistent, and in some cases, unfair.
I finally had enough, so in November I withdrew the kids. It took a whole month for the kids to be formally withdrawn, and I became very annoyed with the whole process. I really can’t say why the school stalled our withdraw process; I am thinking it had to do with money. I was finally told I could withdraw the kids in December, but all materials that the school had ever purchased (as far back as 6 years ago) had to be returned before they would un-enroll my students. It took me days to find some items, and because of that the kids and I were stuck in limbo. Not only would the school not un-enroll my kids, they threatened to report me to collections for anything that was not returned.
Finally I found everything and got it all turned in. The kids were no longer students at the charter school (yeah!), and I felt a freedom I had not felt in a very long time. I was so happy that we had become independent homeschoolers, taking this journey on our own. This happiness was short-lived.
Today truant officers showed up at my parent’s home. Our old charter had reported the kids as being truant. What? Why would they do that? Apparently the school said we had failed to file a private affidavit. My ES asked me about this prior to the kids leaving the school, and I told her we had filed. I filed before the kids last day, and I printed up the affidavit, so I could have it for my records.
For whatever reason, the charter did not have this information in their computers. Also the charter did not have our current address in their files even though I have been living here for over three years and had told the charter my address many times. My parents, not knowing that officials in one county have no jurisdiction over students in another county, gave the officers my new address and all my information.
I have spent the better part of the day trying to call people to get this sorted out, and what I have discovered is two things: 1. No one is taking responsibility for this mistake and 2. No one knows who I need to talk to in order to get this straightened out. The charter is of no help, and I can’t seem to get a hold of anyone in either counties (my parent’s county and my own) to help. The only information the charter would give me was to call my local school district and talk with them about everything. They would be able to tell me if my kids are truant or not.
Hmm….no thanks. My children are not truant. I am staring at my private affidavit right now, and I can tell you it has been filed.
So what to do? Well it is Friday afternoon, and I am tired. My truant kids and I spent the first half of the day at a museum enjoying a wonderful field trip, and I have spent the second half of my day dealing with this mess. I am angry and frustrated, so I think I will call it a day.
But before I do I just want to get the message out about charter schools and homeschoolers. I use to support them, but I can’t anymore. If you want to homeschool you should pause and think twice before going with a charter. I know that the money and curriculum they offer can be hard to refuse. I am a single mom, I know how nice it is to have extra money, but you need to understand that it comes with (many) strings attached. Before you enroll your kids just make sure it is worth it. It wasn’t for me.