According to info I recently found, our local school district had a surplus of $22.5 million in their budget for the 2010-2011 school year. Now, I'm still not certain why they didn't bother to use that money to provide a better education. However, that is not the point. That same year the instructional cost per student was just over $6500! That's just the instructional cost. The operational cost per student was over $11,000.
So, I was thinking, what could I do with $6,500 a year per child? Can you imagine that being your school budget? I have 2 kids, so that would be $13,000 per year. What would I do with that kind of money? Well, let's see.......
First, all those foreign languages that the kids have seriously mentioned wanting to learn, that we don't already have programs for - Gaelic, French, Italian, Chinese - Rosetta Stone for all of them!
There is a local secular private school, with expectations & graduation requirements almost as high as mine. They allow homeschoolers to take some classes, including lab Sciences & AP classes. The only problem is that the lab Sciences & AP classes each cost more than I spend per year for both kids' school materials. Well, guess where Dea would be taking her Chem class? Either there or the local Comm.College, since we'd be able to afford either.
No more being limited to buying only 2 levels of a program at a time. Unfortunately, if I want to be able to buy for all their subjects, I do have to limit the number of levels I buy at once.
More materials for History projects and Science activities/experiments.
More field trips.
More books & bookcases.
More art materials.
A much better camera for my rising photographer.
Honestly, it would mean no more having to worry about the cost of every single thing that I consider getting. With every item, I have to weigh the actual value of it against the price. Is it really worth that much money? Can I find something else that will teach the same thing for less? Are there other options that will meet the child's needs? If this doesn't work, do I have something else that we can use for the rest of the school year?
I hate having to say no to something they wanted for school, because it doesn't fit in our budget. Yes, I'm offering my kids a great education. Yes, their getting a much better education than they would be in public school. However, I can't deny that it could be even better if we had more funds that I could dedicate to the school budget.