Almost two dozen parents started camping out outside the Arlington School District's headquarters Monday morning for the chance to give their children a better education.
Some parents arrived at the administration building on West Pioneer Parkway at 3 a.m. They'll have to camp out in the parking lot all week long, until Saturday morning, so they can transfer their children to different schools on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The ordeal is a huge sacrifice for many families. Some parents told NBC 5 they're missing work to camp out. Parents are missing time at home with their children and spouses, and they're not sleeping in their own beds.
When the administration building opened its doors at 8 a.m. Monday morning, parents rushed inside and handed over $50 for a pink camping permit.
"It’s not too extreme," said parent Alex Seal. "I mean you have to do it for your kids. It’s their future."
"I mean in my day, I didn’t have a high school education and I still got a good job. But in this day, you’re not going to get a job without schooling, without education," he added.
Seal is trying to transfer his daughter into a better junior high school. He'll be sleeping out of the back of his truck.
"That’ll be my second home for the week," he joked.
A district spokeswoman said parents usually want to transfer their kids into a school closer to work or family members; or because parents want a particular teacher or a school with a stellar reputation.
There are more schools with availability compared to last year.
"There were only certain schools that had space last year. This is the first year that we've had space at almost all of our campuses," said spokeswoman Leslie Johnston.
"You’ll do anything for your kids. This is just one of the things I’d do for my kids. Whatever it takes," said Trey Spence, who is attempting to transfer his son into Butler Elementary.
It's a $50 fee to camp out for the week. It costs $65 dollars in March to transfer to another school within the Arlington School District. Out-of-district transfers will have to pay a $100 fee.