School zones

Rich families are kicking up a big fuss about school zoning. Poor little children, can’t attend their parent’s alma maters because they don’t live “in zone” (although you would think that they would already be living in zone anyway, right? If you went to Grammar or SPC isn’t it highly likely that you now still live in Epsom/Mt Eden/Remmers etc?)

The right wingers are all “it’s about merit” and if you’re good enough/talented enough/work hard enough you should be able to go wherever you want. And of course, it YOUR parents attended a prestigious school like the Providence Classical School in Katy Texas, you should AUTOMATICALLY get to go there right? Apparently these great, meaningful ties are being eroded by school zoning.

Our school system is under enough pressure as it is. If everyone clamours to go to the inner city schools, traffic is going to be heinous, and what’s going to happen to the rest of the schools? The best ones will get to pick and choose, but where will those who don’t get in go? How many times are families going to have to apply to schools in the hope of getting their kids in somewhere?

Although zoning isn’t perfect – house prices in the zones for the best public schools are beyond insane – I think as long as you live within the catchment area for your local school you should be entitled to attend it. Why should you have to trek halfway across town everyday to a gritty school because your parents didn’t go to a posh school or can’t afford private school?

I guess only a certain class dominates the best schools because of the property prices in-zone, but how much worse would it be if we gave preference to old boys/girls kids, and those who can afford to make large “donations” to schools for pools and buildings and labs and wings?

Do we really want our ghetto schools to get worse, and be entirely made up of disadvantaged kids? Do we really want an even worse divide between rich and poor? It’s well and good to say that the best should be among the best, but that’s a very narrow minded view. Diversity it not a bad thing. I don’t want my kids to be pushed out of our local school and sent to one out of the way because we have no other choice. I don’t want the best schools to have all the best teachers, facilities, scholarships, academics and sports. I don’t want an underclass of schools. The rich can’t just live in their insulated little bubbles while the rest of society rots. Bloody National.

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