I was planning to write up my trip story post about San Antonio tonight, but we've got some news that I just have to share.
Pumpkin will be starting kindergarten in the fall. You may or may not remember, but back in January and February, I wrote a couple of posts about our choices for Pumpkin's school. We really want her to get the chance to learn a language in her early years, so after visiting several local public schools, we decided to try to get her into the Spanish language immersion magnet school- which happens to be two blocks from our house. Of course, that actually worked against us in terms of getting into this school, since our neighborhood is in the zone that gets the fewest kids into the school. (For the record, I have absolutely no problem with that: the priority goes to kids in zones where most people have less money and therefore less opportunity to buy their way to a good eduction. I think it is right and good that priority for programs like this go to those kids.)
Anyway, we filled out our form back in February, and then we waited. We'd been told that the decision would be made in April, so as May ticked by, I began to resign myself to our plan C, which was to go to our (really quite good) neighborhood school and arrange some sort of after school Spanish program. I didn't mind the extra expense this would entail. After all, when we looked at private schools that include language instruction, the cheapest was about $11,000 per year. That would buy a lot of after school enrichment! But setting up a new after school program would be a hassle, to put it mildly. I was going to have to research and choose a program, work with the school to set up, and then figure out how in the world to handle the money- we were planning to put up whatever was required to guarantee the program would happen, but would then want other parents to pay for the class, too, if they could afford it. To be honest, I have no idea how we were going to arrange that. Still, we figured we couldn't complain, since other than the lack of foreign language instruction, our local school is pretty good.
But tonight, we caught a break. The magnet officer from the Spanish immersion program called, and we have a spot! We weren't on the first list of people from our zone, but enough of those people decided to go elsewhere to open up a spot for us. We're in! No more worrying about setting up an afterschool program. The location could hardly be more convenient. Their start time is even good (one of the other schools on our list had a scarily early start time). I feel a bit like we've won the lottery. And that would be because we have. Spots are assigned by random drawing.
And yes, we do plan to give some of the money we're saving by not going to private school or paying for an after school Spanish program to our new school. As a Title 1 school, it won't have the rich PTA that our neighborhood school has. We may also find a way to donate more generally to local schools without rich PTAs. That is a much easier problem to solve, I think, than the Spanish class funding problem. I suspect I just need to call the school district and ask to whom I should write the check.