How Gentrification Hurts Students

My middle school child is a gifted, honor roll student who prepared for middle school.

She took two different tests. One for language placement, and another for math placement. She thought about her electives, discussing which was best for her academic future, as well as taking notes on what her friends were doing. She attended the orientations and prodded me to go to the information classes. 

I assume that many kids just kind of shuffle through to the next step, but not her. She likes getting good grades, she loves getting perfect attendance.

She had been discussing this program called Club TC where she stays after school and participates in sports, or cooking, or gardening. She was afraid I wouldn’t let her go because it meant she would be spending long hours at school. I had finally told her it would be fine. 

“The school is just 5 minutes walking from here.”

Those were the words I used to finally agree to her joining. 

And then we got a 30 day notice to vacate, on our apartment door. 

Our apartment complex had been sold, and the new owners weaseled themselves out of the contract the previous owner and I had. 

We needed to move. 

My neighbors and I all faced the same question. Where?

13 Students who had academic plans for the next school year were derailed. One was a senior in high school. How can an abrupt move not impact your child’s education? 

There are more school aged children who will be getting their notices at even worse times, like, in the middle of the semester. 

The new owners are remodeling, and raising the rents, and the current tenants are in the way. 

Will our children still thrive as students? Yes, of course. 

Would it be easier for them if they hadn’t been displaced? Absolutely.

What do you think?
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Melissa Cota

Melissa Cota

Melissa Cota is a Freelance Writer and long time education advocate, who has worked as a Reading Coach, Tutor, and High School Teacher. She grew up attending Chula Vista schools including Kellogg Elementary, Castle Park Middle and Castle Park High. She went on to receive a Bachelor's Degree from San Diego State University and now hopes to positively affect the Chula Vista Elementary School District through involved parenting.

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