"Later, in an e-mail message, the therapist wrote that the family had decided to, as she put it, “commit financial suicide.”'
Wow. To think that making the decision to put your child into private school puts you at the edge of financial disaster is very compelling.
From the article:
"This year’s hand-wringing over tuition might be dismissed as the latest hardship for the patrician class, which, like everyone else, can simply educate its young in the public system. But of the more than three million families with at least one child in private school, according to the 2005 census, almost two million of them have a household income of less than $100,000. According to a Department of Education survey, in 2003-4, the median annual tuition of nonsectarian schools was $8,200; for Catholic schools, $3,000.So for every family that pays $30,000 and up to attend elite schools in Manhattan, thousands more will pay tuitions closer to $2,700 — next year’s cost for St. Agnes Catholic School in Roeland Park, Kan."
Will the recession make a difference?
"In past recessions, enrollments in independent schools remained stable, according to the National Association of Independent Schools, which represents 1,400 institutions with a median first-grade tuition last year of $14,640. But it may be different this year. Smart Tuition, a New York-based firm that handles payments for some 2,000 private schools across the country, said that by mid school year, 7 percent of families had already dropped out, double from last year."
Parents are considering figuring out if private school is more important than one child over another, opting for public school with private tutor supplementing, or putting the deposit down but not being fully committed to staying.
The last paragraph of the article struck me as somewhat ironic:
"Recently she attended a contentious meeting about overcrowded public schools in her Upper East Side neighborhood. “It was filled with people like me, desperate to get their kids educated,” Ms. Hall said. “And parents whose primary goal is to keep my kid out of their school.”'
And so, how would current public school parents feel about crowding in public schools where all comers must be served? It's interesting because I recall some years back a Board director who put forth an amendment to the assignment plan to give preference to parents who children in a public school for at least 2 or 3 consecutive years. He felt like the Board should back up parents who had shown their commitment to public schools. It failed.