Sunday, April 18, 2010


I am in an abusive relationship.

We attempted to transfer Anna out of the truly shitty school district we pay nearly $20,000 a year in property taxes for, and have failed. Everyone told us we should fake it, lie about where we lived like everyone else did - but we decided not to. We took the high road. I feel like the good girl at the prom who wouldn't put out and then watched her boyfriend go off with someone else.

That's what it feels like, as if Santa Barbara is the cute boy in school that everyone thinks the world of, 'oh you're so lucky to live there', 'it's gorgeous', yet behind closed doors Santa Barbara is mean and vindictive, telling you that you don't have enough money, you don't belong, you'll never be good enough.

That's right, I'm having a little pity party over here. Sorry, I sound like a petulant schoolgirl, and I will get over it, I'm just cross and disappointed, and very, very jaded.

We had been told that as our area school is so very poor (it's listed as a 'failing school' and in this State, you can only imagine how bad that is), that we are granted an automatic transfer and are bumped up the transfer list to boot. We were then told that the school we wanted her to go to is full for next year, and that they would hold a lottery for any spots that become available. Anna was in the third batch of kids to be pulled out of the lottery, behind kids with parents teaching at the school (1), kids with siblings at the school (10) and kids transferring from a failing school (17). With the luck of the English Anna came 28th out of 28. It's almost laughable really. Unless they open up an entirely new kindergarten class, or there is a mass defection, then she will not get in.

That was Friday, and I'm already feeling better. I have moved on. There is another option, a smaller school, further away with kids that she knows, a huge garden, a K-1 class for those kids who are (like Anna) already reading quite strongly. It's across the freeway from where Lucy will go to preschool next year (for ease of drop-off, and quite frankly, to make me less nervous about MORE natural disasters separating me from my children). Anna likes the rainbow gate and the rooms full of books.

I feel like the decision has been made for me. Maybe Santa Barbara is showing me some tough love.


Anonymous said...

shoot me an email - we are muddling through the same thought processes and emotional turmoil. Blessed are the palm trees and views! rebecca

Nimble said...

Good to get to the end of the post and see the hope for a different school. Finding the place where my child will spend all day away from me is one of the most stressful things I've ever done. Good thoughts for your quest.

We (not rich) parents are going to have to get wily in this era to get our children the best education we can.

Hyphen Mama said...

We had an option of trying to get our daughter into an accelerated school... 35 minutes away and I'm pretty sure it was your post about being separated by natural disasters that kept grating in the back of my mind that helped me decide that we'd just stay where we're at... she goes to school 1/2 block away from our house.

Good luck with getting her into the "other" school!

Jane said...

Wish I could say it gets better, but we're on the other end of this equation dealing with the college thing. Only been here 5yrs so no college savings. Pretty fed up with not being rich enough and the wrong kind of immigrant!

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