"Montessori Schools are only for families with high incomes and are extremely expensive"
The sad reality of this misconception is: it can be true in some areas. There is a large trend in Montessori Programs choosing to operate as For-Profit Businesses instead of as Non-Profit Early Learning Programs.
When speaking with other Directors of Montessori's, they listed their barriers to going non-profit: financial (Montessori learning materials cost a lot more compared to the more traditional childhood toys and learning items), it costs more to retain qualified educators (as they need to have both ECE degrees and Montessori degrees), and that they feel the operating grants from the levels of government simply do not provide enough to make it work.
At SJMS, we have always been, and will ALWAYS be, a Non-Profit Montessori School. Our Core Mission is that ALL children and ALL families have the right to a high-quality Montessori Education, irregardless of their income levels. We have worked hard to show we CAN offer an extremely high quality Montessori program, at a daily price fee all families can afford: families at SJMS pay only $5.00 per day. (Compared to others: in Wpg range from $50-$90/day)
We are now striving to show other Montessori programs, and ECE's considering to open Montessori programs; that it's ABSOLUTELY possible to run a Montessori program at a low parent cost - with our long-term hope being to see more Montessori programs offered to families at this low cost.
We do NOT think Montessori should only be available to high income families; but to achieve this, we need fellow Montessorians to commit to this mission! It is hard, it takes a STRONG team of educators working tirelessly to stretch small operating budgets into where we need it, it takes ONGOING support and communication with the governing bodies for advocacy of larger operating grants, and it takes COMMITTED enrolled families - willing to help out with fundraising each year.
But, when achieved.... There is NOTHING more rewarding than seeing students from ALL socio-economic backgrounds receiving the same high-quality education, year after year. So the answer to this myth: in some cases, it (sadly) is true. But in other cases (like SJMS & others) we are working hard to change it!