In Texas, school districts are so low on money that they're selling ads on school buses, thanks to the "largest cuts to public education since World War II." In New York, many school districts are staring down 14% budget cuts, which educators fear will "widen the funding gap between wealthier and poorer school districts." Federal student aid programs are in for multibillion-dollar cuts of their own. And among the parents of children in Manhattan's most exclusive private elementary schools, a separate, but equally pressing, worry: is Emma beating her peers, enough?

Melanie Griffith said her daughter Emma was reading chapter books at 4, but when she entered Calhoun, she was restricted to sing-alongs and teacher-led story time.

At times Ms. Griffith, a fitness instructor, said she and her husband wondered, "Are we doing her a disservice because she is so capable, by not putting her in a situation where they are challenging her more?"

Spoiler: Emma is okay, at her private school. Never lose hope, (private school) parents.

[NYT. Photo: Flickr]