Shut-out parents create co-op schools


In New York City, school is compulsory for students aged six and older. For younger students, the city provides some educational options, but every year thousands of children are turned away due to lack of space. The other alternative, private education, can be prohibitively expensive.

In response, some families in Brooklyn, New York, have begun creating their own schools. These co-operative pre-kindergarten programmes are run entirely by the participating parents, who must hire a teacher, find a location, provide supplies, and make group decisions about everything from curriculum to cleaning.

For parents, these schools provide more control over a child's education at a minimal expense.

But there are challenges: some forgo the background checks and extensive permitting needed to run a school, and put themselves at risk of being shut down. Even the schools running legally can face difficulties, not the least of which are personality conflicts that come with a co-operative experience.

Laura Trevelyan profiles one mother who turned the first floor of her home into a co-operative school.

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.