Rural Schools and the not fast enough demise

Awhile back I wrote this Op-Ed:

regarding the public school closures in our rural area. But here’s the thing. I don’t send my kids to the public school in the area because they don’t meet our families needs. Time and time again I’ve said , you know what? Someone should survey the homeschoolers, the private schoolers—is there anyway we can all come together under one roof ? Will there come a day when I can put that tuition money towards my own student loan or the kids college fund instead?

Local protests signs say things like No School, No Town. Which is good sentiment , I’ll give it that. But more than likely the kind of investment that could save a town that time has forgotten won’t want a public school in the first place. It will be, more than likely Bay Area people or Bay Area telecommuters that are most suited to relocating here and what will our provincial school have to offer them? They will homeschool or go online. Or some combination and their children will take community college courses long before they turn 18 and will more than likely do well there.

Sometimes living here can feel like living in the mid-west or at the very least what would happen if Frank Capra were still alive to shoot films of small town life–nostalgic with a slightly protruding underbelly–nothing to bad, not enough distinctive. We still have parades, and people turn out for the high school football games regardless of whether their children attend currently or not. And like many parts of the country, this emphasis on school spirit supplants real academics and families are happy with good enough if not good achievement.

Either way, I’m beginning to agree with the sentiments of our towns open air grief site SAVE GHS—I’ll be glad when we’ve gone back to the status quo or closed up shop to await the phoenix of rebirth in another form. But these few months in between where pink slips waft in the air, accusations fly over the produce aisle in the local grocery store, well, that’s becoming tedious.


About Margaret Elysia Garcia

Margaret Elysia Garcia is the author of short story ebook collection Sad Girls and Other Stories, and the audiobook Mary of the Chance Encounters, and the co-founder and lead playwright of Las Pachucas, theatrical troupe. She teaches creative writing and theatre in a California state prison.
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