Cost of Montessori Education

I don’t like to use my blog to rant, but this might be close. We never planned on sending Baby D to preschool. We can teach him to count and read and PutThingsBackCarefully. Then I got to thinking maybe half days in a Montessori Infant Community would be beneficial and not take him away for too long. Then I saw the price. I knew Montessori schools were expensive. I didn’t realize half day preschool would cost over $9,000 per year. That is slightly more than in-state tuition at our state college. Full day preschool is over $13,000, as is Primary. Elementary¬†is $14,000. This school is fully recognized by AMI and looks to be just what we would choose if Baby D did go to school. I understand that teachers must be paid a living wage, schools must carry a lot of insurance, and materials cost quite a bit. But do the operating costs of the school really add up to $9,000, $13,000, or $14,000 per child per year? The first Casa dei Bambini was in a tenement. Dr. Montessori made the materials herself. How did Montessori education go from serving the poorest children to courting families who either can afford to pay that much for pre-school and elementary school or are willing to go into debt? How can we make Montessori education available to a wider community? Peace through education can not come about if so few people are included. Do we need non-profit, donation supported schools? Volunteer teachers? How do we accomplish this?