With the school year quickly approaching, we are witnessing the social behavior of the human species I have termed the, “Illegal School Migration…or ISM.” ISM generally occurs in mid to late June of each year and continues until mid to late August. It’s the mad scramble of mostly law abiding citizens to find a way to get their children into the most desirable government schools. (I use the term government schools for what most, incorrectly, call public schools. There is nothing “public” about them. They exclude the public; even excluding those school aged children they pretend to be helping. Don’t believe me, go to a government school, open the door and go in to use the restroom…see what happens…you’ll be in that other public institution knows as the, “county jail”).
Almost everybody knows that government schools are a type of local monopoly (or fiefdom based on the number and power of the administration) that rejects those who live outside of some boundary line drawn up by the administrators. Almost all parents know which districts have the “good” schools and which districts have the “bad” schools. The battle is when a parent wants their child to go to the “good” school, but the child lives in a “bad” school district. As a side note, the “good” schools, not surprisingly, are generally in the wealthier neighborhoods. This situation is what creates the ISM each Summer. It’s modern segregation based on the economic status of the zip code. Let’s take a look at what some parents have to do to get into the government school they choose, but are prohibited from attending due to their geographic location.
1. Set up “residence” in the government school district – This part of the migration generally involves an excluded parent trying to get either a water bill or electric bill in a home or apartment within the boundaries of the district. In order to attend the desirable school, proof of residence must be provided to the administration that the child resides within the district. This creates a situation where the migrators seek out ways to get that proof or residence. Some migrators actually offer upwards of $500 to change electric or water bills into their names.
2. Use a family member to qualify for “residence” – Some migrators may have a grandparent or a family member in the desirable district. The child is then “placed” with the family member as the child’s primary residence. This is the, “Little Billy lives with Aunt Lucy” method. Little Billy does not live with Aunt Lucy, but has to say he does to get into the desirable school. The migratory parents actually go as far as to teach their children to lie if asked where they live. The child is programmed to lie about living at Aunt Lucy’s to avoid missing the ISM.
3. Use connections in the administration – “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” ISM absolutely involves using any connection the parent may have in the school administration to either get that special school district or to find out how to get into that school district. It’s not uncommon for the ISM period to bring a phone call of, “Hey, aren’t you friends with Jim on the school board? Can you see how we can get Billy into that really good school, RichGuy Elementary?”
There are other ISM methods, but these are overwhelmingly the most popular. But, do you know what the least popular is? Well, it’s asking for permission. That’s right, requesting a, “special assignment” is the least popular method because it is seldom, if ever, granted. The “legal” way is the least favored last to be used, the “illegal” ways are favored because they generally result in success.
You may wonder why I call it the, “Illegal” School Migration. Ayn Rand, wrote in Atlas Shrugged: “The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them…you create a nation of lawbreakers. . .” That is actually what has happened here. We have created, even in our government school system, a group of criminals. You think it’s not criminal?; see a post from my previous blog (which I shut down) here, The government school system is set up to make people law breakers who are trying to get the best for their children. Until we bring some sense, and competition, to the government school system the annual ritual of the ISM will continue, as will the criminal activity it promotes.