So our state provides a subscription to Tutor.com as part of our “homework suite” of services – in-person, online, and virtual reference. When I tried to get caught up on my reading today this article on offshore tutor services caught my eye. I mean, I knew this was going on but I guess I was in denial about how much it cost, etc. $99 a month for unlimited sessions… That’s a pretty good deal but how many families can afford an expense like that? It drives home the point that we are a highly stratified society in which the “haves” can shell out $40-$60 an hour or $99 a month for extra tutoring for their kids and the “have-nots” can’t even think of doing something like that. I’ve heard teachers get a pretty sweet deal occasionally when NCLB requirements have them tutor a kid after school and they pick up an extra $30 or so an hour for that.
It makes me wonder if offering free services like we do through our libraries are devalued. Not because they are of less quality, but because they are explicitly free and therefore are seen as having no value by parents who are used to seeing big price quotes. Maybe we look cheap or shabby? Must muse more on this subject.