Monday, October 19, 2020

Bright Flight

There has always been some of it: folks moving from place to place in the metro region seeking a better education for their children. These "better schools" tended to correlate strongly with distance with taxes and home prices exhibit an equally strong but negative correlation leaving commute time the only limiting factor. 

The pandemic changed all that.

Large numbers are working remotely and like it. Companies' comfort level is on the rise as results show increased productivity alongside reduced costs. Traditional schools are on life support, teachers are remote but inept at distance education, student contact time is low and incessant demands for more money have only grown louder. In DeKalb, parents perhaps were convinced by years of educator messaging that teachers, classrooms and schools are critical to the excellent education they've been told their children deserve and thought they were receiving. Now these same parents who want their children back in those most excellent schools are pushing back against reluctant teachers by regurgitating the Kool-Aid and it isn't a pretty sight as the bartenders have no appetite for the drinks they were serving. 

Many parents are staring at a tax bill where upwards of seventy percent goes to schools that are essentially down for the count. "Hell no-We won't go" is a broken record they cannot tolerate hearing. Teachers aren't coming back. Parents, at least some, will be "migrating" towards education for their child. 

Who are these parents? Who are their children? Will these be those most at-risk, those most negatively impacted by teachers' partial strike or will the be those children whose parents have the means and the priorities to ensure the best for their children? When the best and brightest are driven from traditional public schools why would they ever return?