What things should I consider when determining where to send my child?
All driver education programs must offer at least the same minimum hours of instruction, that being 24 hours of classroom and 6 hours of behind-the-wheel, spread over not less than 3 weeks. A student must receive 4 hours or more of observation time in the training vehicle. All programs must also teach the same performance objectives during Segment 1 driver education. After that, here are some issues you may want to consider:
- Cost. Most public school programs charge a fee, so you should expect to pay for driver education. The average fees range from $200 to $400. Be sure to identify if the fee you are quoted includes Segment 2. Other potential fees you want to be aware of include:
- Pick-up/drop off. Although some schools may offer this convenience, there may be an additional cost.
- Materials. Is there a cost for the textbook or other materials?
- Replacement certificate. If a certificate is lost, is there a fee to replace it?
- Missed drive. If a behind-the-wheel lesson is missed, is there a fee to reschedule the drive
- Additional drives. If the instructor determines that additional drives are needed, is there a fee for instruction?
- Refund policy. Is there a refund policy for the student dropping out of the program, or will he or she be allowed to re-enroll in the next class?
- Attendance/disciplinary policy. What is the attendance policy, and will the student be allowed to make up missed days (separately or during a future class)? What criteria is there to warrant dismissal from a class?
- Proximity to home. Since most programs offer 12 two-hour classes, and 6 one-hour driving lessons, you may be looking upward of 18 trips back and forth to class (although some schools offer pick up and drop off at home services for driving lessons for a fee).
- Instructor qualifications. All driver education program instructors must be certified by the Department of State.
- Teaching materials. What types of resources does each program use? Do they use a textbook? Are the materials up-to-date?
- Reputation. Check with neighbors and/or classmates as to their satisfaction with the driver education provider(s).
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