Sara Elahi isn't waiting to find out whether her children's schools will reopen in the coming months.
After an extensive interview process of several candidates, she found a private educator who will be going to her home to professionally home-school her two children during the first semester.
"Education is the most important thing to our family," she said. "My kids need to have in-person instruction to really learn and absorb material, and, by no fault of their own, I can't rely on the school to provide that."
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Elahi, a consultant in the Baltimore area, said that although the costs were high, she and her husband, a pharmacist, were willing to dip into their savings to provide their children with an "undisrupted education."
"In our minds, it will be a long-term investment for our kids," she said. "If they fall too behind in all the shuffle, they'll be playing catch-up forever." Her children are starting ninth grade and seventh grade.
Even though the extra cost, around $2,800 a month, will strain family finances, Elahi said she recognizes that having the choice is a luxury few can even consider.
As the schooling dilemma continues to daunt millions of parents, some with the means to front the steep costs are hiring private educators and tutors, an option experts say few can afford and will likely widen an already glaring education gap.
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