Why Parents are Lying about their Zip Codes for a Good Education

Do you live in a neighborhood with good schools? I know I don’t. If you don’t either, what extremes would you go to so that your child receives the best possible education?  Would you live out of your car if you had to? 

The Vargas family in Pennsylvania is not the first family forced to extremes in order to ensure their children attend a good school. In the case of the Vargas family, their three teen boys attend school in an affluent zip code the parents can’t afford to live in but are working to be able to afford one day. The boys have been sleeping in their parent’s Hyundai SUV in the parking lot of a Walmart shopping center. Both parents are currently employed and work night shifts.   

To be clear, these children attend a public school. The entire situation is gut-wrenching. Just consider their version (and that of many other parents) of the American dream…

 “Vargas and Alex are working on scraping enough money together for their version of the American dream: putting their boys to bed in a house, not the back of an SUV, and a home near schools they trust to teach their sons.”

How did we get here? Why is education so unequal? We live in a country that allows schools to be so vastly different from one block to the next.  Unfortunately, the Vargas family’s story is not unique. Parents all over the country have been criminalized for using the address of relatives or friends, in order to get their kids into better schools than those in their neighborhood.  

Comadres, what do you think? Should it be this difficult to get a good education for your children?

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La Comadre
We are Moms, Tias, Ninas and Play-Tias who love children in our lives and we want to help every child succeed in school. Navigating schools and education—from preschool to college—is hard. We want to help each other with this. We are all in this together with you. We want to be a resource for you and for all of the children you love. Whether you need some info or you have info to share, you know where to go…LA Comadre.

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