Monday, December 08, 2008

Private Schools Feeling the Economic Pinch

Those of us who work in the public schools get to look forward to mid-year budget cuts, even though there isn't enough money left in my department's budget to buy me a replacement bulb for my overhead projector. How can we expect our schools not to face budget cuts, though, when about half the state budget is devoted to education?

Some might think that private schools would be immune to this, as only rich people send their kids to private schools. That statement is wrong on so many levels--public school teachers aren't rich, and we send our kids to private school in greater numbers than does the general American public! Private schools are full of middle class students, in addition to the more wealthy ones.

And when rough economic times affect the middle class, private schools are affected as well:

At Sacramento Country Day School – a private school that draws many of the area's more affluent families – financial aid requests are up.

The school is doling out more than $850,000 of need-based aid a year, up from $500,000 just three years ago.

The spike is a sign of the times, say school officials across Sacramento, as private schools, even those with hefty endowments, are being forced to tighten their belts in light of the economic downturn...

Many private-school families are struggling with finances more than the schools themselves, say financial planners. Even the more affluent are having a tougher time affording private education for their kids.

No comments: