Published: October 21, 2006
'Don't tell anyone, but my husband and I plan to send our toddler to a public prekindergarten program.
It’s not just the outrageous cost — about $17,000 a year for a 4-year-old to learn his letters, or more on a per-pound basis than Harvard. Our neighborhood public schools on Manhattan’s Upper East Side are some of the finest in the city (a factor when we relocated) and we just don’t think exclusive for the sake of exclusive is necessary. Still, the fear is that you really do get what you pay for, and no parent wants to gamble with their child’s future.
With the emphasis on early childhood development, many parents who hear of our decision, nod, say “ohhh,” and position themselves between their children and our son. It’s as if we are dooming our first-born and his 7-month-old brother to a lifetime of wanton mediocrity instead of paving their way into the joint M.D.-Ph.D.-law programs of their choice. [...]'