I've been having all sorts of angst this past week about how I'm going to be going back to med school soon, and how this means I will see a lot less of the Pickle. And how this will continue for several months.
And then I will be a resident for (at least) 3 years, and it will be even worse.
It's quite upsetting.
I've also been angsting about where we're going to send Dylan to school. We live in an utterly crappy school district, and even if we moved to the "good" district three blocks away, we would not be guaranteed a spot at the local public school. Our options are to try for a Charter school (also not guaranteed), to send her to private school, or to move to the suburbs.
They are all good options, thank god, but stressful to consider. The last two options are also pretty expensive.
Private school is 20K per year for 9 months, so we'd still have to pay for some sort of camp over the summer, and also probably an au pair also to do pick ups. You also have to start them there the first year they offer it, which is PRE-FREAKING-K (whatever happened to normal school that starts at kindergarten??). So we'd be looking at applying for that in 2.5 years.
Moving to the suburbs is also an option.... but we would end up having to buy a more expensive house (because houses are more expensive there) and would pay about 4-5x as much in property taxes (though admittedly, our property taxes here are scheduled to triple over the next several years and it's not as though the school is going to stop sucking). If we end up with multiple children that is probably our only real choice.
The Charter schools are supposed to be decent, though I've yet to hear anything from a parent that didn't sound like them trying to reassure themselves that they made the right choice, and as I said it's not a guarantee either.
This morning I was awake at 4AM angsting about this, and then I reminded myself: I can quit at any time. I don't have to do ANY of this. If I wanted I could be a SAHM and have three more kids (ok, maybe not three, but more anyway). We could move to the suburbs. Or we could stay in Philly and I could even homeschool the kiddos. OR I could take an easy job like the one I had before med school and work 9-5. I don't actually want to do either of those things... but thinking about it really did make me feel better about finishing my training to become a doctor, even if it is going to be really onerous. It is a relief to have choices.
(MD-PhD is NOT a good investment, but never included in this calculation are the psychological benefits of not having debt, which apparently for me are substantial.)
More on the school stuff
Parents were actually lining up at 8AM yesterday morning to enroll
their children in kindergarten at the good public elementary school on TUESDAY. They were eventually
disbanded, and the school has decided to conduct a lottery to figure out
who can attend instead, which is probably more fair since not everyone can take 5 days out of their lives to wait outside in line in the middle of January.
I would have been pissed if I were a parent trying to send my kid there next year though. A lottery more or less removes any control one might have over whether your little tyke gets to go to a good school or a shitty one. Application deadlines for most private schools have passed (I think), and since you're much less likely to get your child in if you apply in 1st grade, you could be screwed on that front as well. Charter school applications were due in last fall, and I'm pretty sure that deadline is passed too. So what will these parents do (other than the obvious) to educate their kids next year? I mean, they could move to the 'burbs too, but with the housing market as it is.... and a lot of them don't have a lot of money lying around to do something like that I'd imagine.
Part of me fantasizes that they will all send their kids to the shitty school in our district, which is the default. It would make that school suck less, and increase our property values. I'm not optimistic about this though. I suspect it will just cause people to move away and depress property values everywhere.
Add to that, many of these people paid a 100K premium for their house to live in that school district. This decision by the school district to do a lottery (and also not having enough spots in the first place), is going to devalue their properties, who knows by how much.
(Though it does make me glad that we didn't decide to buy there...)