For some of these parents, the choice is so wearying that they have decided to pull their children out of the school system entirely and home-school, which is undoubtedly easier when home is not a cramped apartment, but a weekend house with guest bedrooms, home offices and lots of outdoor space.
Noria Morales, a founder of The Wonder, a club for families in Manhattan, and her husband, a restaurateur, recently decided not to plunk down a small fortune for their children’s private school, Lycée Francais de New York, this fall.
Instead, they moved up to their weekend house on 176 rustic acres near Elizaville, N.Y. in the Hudson Valley and plan to home-school their children, using a portion of the money they saved on private school for a part-time private tutor to help out.
“My kids are in second grade and fourth grade, so there’s nothing I can really do to set them back academically,” Ms. Morales said. “It’s not like I have to teach them algebra. Up here, you’re surrounded by trees and birds, and in my mind, I can encourage curiosity.”
But there are trade-offs, even for the wealthy. At small-town schools in the Hamptons or the Hudson Valley, children tend to be cut off from the racial, economic, and cultural diversity of city schools, not to the mention the museums and other cultural institutions that help round out their education.
Little surprise, then, that some parents with immense resources are keeping their options open, while everyone else is waiting to see what schools will do in the fall.