Bad Economy = Private School Interest UP

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TeacherShelly, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Feb 16, 2009

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  3. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Feb 16, 2009

    Thanks for sharing... interesting.
    I'm wondering if this will also boost Home Schooling as well. Especially the larger class sizes.
     
  4. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    We've had more visitors this year than I have ever seen. It isn't unusual that our director will bring in groups of 3 or 4 parents twice a day, several days a week. Enrollment looks good for us next year.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 16, 2009

    For some reason the article won't come up.

    Our registration numbers are up as well. But I've got to wonder how many of those parents will lose their jobs between now and the fall.
     
  6. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    The Gov's plan is going to blow up in his face, as we are beginning to see with education. In addition, his tax hikes (including the gas tax) are going to have the opposite affect than what he's planning.
     
  7. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    OUr school is very expensive and we forsee low enrollment numbers next year.
     
  8. Mrs.Z.

    Mrs.Z. Companion

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    It would seem we have really good numbers looking to next year as well. But that's for inquiries and tours and kids brought in for testing. It remains to be seen how many 'rents will sign that letter and submit the fees.
     
  9. nothermanda

    nothermanda Companion

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    From what I've heard, homeschooling is pretty difficult in CA, but it still might increase.

    It was interesting to see that article this morning. It's pretty sad, because if education money was used more effectively, our publics schools would have a better reputation. I've been amazed at the budget process in my district - they're using some seriously funny math!

    Of course, they targeted schools in Palo Alto, the area with the best public schools (and the highest income level) in the area. Once again, the attention is focused on people who can afford 30K per year for school. What about the kids in East San Jose who can barely afford clothes and food? I can't complain too much, because Sharon Noguchi has spent a lot of time writing about our district, but I'm frustrated at the pity-party attitude of the parents in the article.
     
  10. old-new teacher

    old-new teacher Comrade

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    Are we reading the same article? What pity party? I heard parents being concerned about large class sizes and such, but didn't perceive "pity parties" from them. Every parent has the right to question the quality of their child's education. To call that a pity party borders on arrogance.
     
  11. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Alice, here's the article...

    Applications to South Bay private schools shoot up
    By Sharon Noguchi

    Mercury News
    Posted: 02/15/2009 05:29:06 PM PST


    The budget cloud threatening California's education landscape carries an unexpected silver lining: At South Bay private schools, not only is enrollment holding steady, but also applications for next school year have shot up.

    With the specter of drastic budget cuts and ballooning class sizes facing public schools, anxious parents apparently are hedging their bets with private schools.

    "It's like it's too good to be true," said Ken Van Meter, superintendent of Milpitas Christian School. "We've had more families enrolling at an earlier time than in the last several years, and open houses have been better attended."

    Parents' interest is a huge relief to private school officials, who had worried that devalued stock portfolios and the recession would make it difficult for families to pay tuition. In addition, California's student population is shrinking, making it even harder to fill seats.

    Statewide, the application picture is a mixed bag, said Jim McManus of the California Association of Independent Schools. "People are still sitting near the edge of their chairs not knowing what to make of the situation.'' But generally, he said, schools in metropolitan areas like San Jose are doing well.

    The Harker School, where annual high school tuition is $32,250, received 160 applications for fewer than 30 ninth-grade spots, a 10 percent increase over last year, said Nan Nielsen, admission director. Applications held steady for the elementary and middle-school programs.

    Likewise, applications are up 12 percent at the sixth-through-12th-grade Castilleja girls school in Palo Alto. At Pinewood School in Los Altos Hills, applications are running 10 percent to 20 percent more over the same period last year, President Scott Riches said.

    At Keys School in Palo Alto, which will expand next fall, Admission Director Jan Bruzzese said, "It's a little bizarre to think that the economy is in the state it's in, and we're getting more interest.''

    It's still too early for most schools to know whether parental interest translates into commitment, and how much financial aid families will need. Mindful of the economy, school boards were careful in setting tuition for next year, most reporting lower-than-usual increases ranging from 3 percent to 5.5 percent.

    Schools also have budgeted more financial aid to try to retain families.

    Families say curriculum and class size are big factors in their decision.

    Anita Sit has sent her daughter to study in Mandarin at the International School of the Peninsula, and hopes to enroll her son in kindergarten at the private Palo Alto school next fall. For Sit, a Foster City gynecologist, and her surgeon husband, language and culture were major reasons, but not the only ones.

    "California school quality is not going to be improved anytime soon," she said.

    Other parents share that concern.

    Rhonda Whitney, a former IT manager, is leaning toward going back to work in order to send her twins to a private kindergarten next year.

    The Hayward resident, who sent three older children through public school, believes even the "better school districts'' can't maintain the quality of education. The Whitneys had enrolled their 6-year-old, who is mildly autistic, into Hope Technology School in Palo Alto, a special education school, but are now also considering private schooling for their twins.

    At public schools "classes are getting larger," she said. "They're enormous."

    Many of those already in private school apparently are planning to stay. Once families are involved in a school community, "it stops being a luxury expense,'' said Myra McGovern, of the National Association of Independent Schools.

    But even though public budget woes may enlarge the applicant pool for private schools, directors don't take joy in the impending decline of public education. Huge cuts and the prospect of larger class sizes are sad, said Harry McKay of Saint Andrew's School in Saratoga. "The public school system is the backbone of the country.''

    Until acceptance letters go out in March and are returned with signatures, private schools are watching the economic and state budget news. As Van Meter said, "We are suspiciously optimistic.''

    -end-
     
  12. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Feb 17, 2009

    It probably would be more financially wise to start by calling politicians to complain. Then if it is still passed actually agree to put your children in the private schools, but if the cuts don't go through put your kids in the public schools. I work in a very popular public school in my area and right now we have enough enrolled to add 1.5 more teachers in K. The school does not have the classrooms for that though.
     

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