Tag Archives: recession

Private Schools Facing Real Challenges from Economic Downturn, Too

Times are tough out there. I don’t have a lot of perspective yet, but there’s no doubt the economy is hurting. And that means not only are real people hurting, but – as the Wall Street Journal reports – so are private schools: Trinity Episcopal School survived Hurricane Ike last fall. But then another storm hit — the economy. The Galveston, Texas, school, where tuition is between $5,000 and $8,000 a year, has seen its enrollment drop 12%, says David Dearman, the head of the school. Many parents of its students were among the 3,000 workers laid off by the area’s largest employer, the University of Texas Medical Branch. At the end of 2008, the school’s endowment was $800,000, down about 20% from July. The school has ramped up donation efforts through its Web site, and held car washes and bake sales. It stopped using substitute teachers — other staff members now step in when a teacher is out sick. “Our school will survive, but it will take years to recover,” Mr. Dearman says. Trinity Episcopal School is one of many kindergarten-through-12th-grade private schools caught in the middle of an economic tempest: anemic endowments, dwindling donations, financially strapped parents slashing […]

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The Case Against Cutting Facilities Funds for Colorado Charter Schools

Over at the Flypaper blog, Mike Petrilli asks the question “Could the recession be good for the charter school movement?” and gets some insightful answers from experts like Todd Ziebarth, Robin Lake, and Bryan Hassel. I’m too young to pretend I know the answer to a big question like that. Please go read what they have to say for yourself. But here in Colorado, I know that charter school leaders see the situation as a challenge. Economic slowdown has cut state revenues, and lawmakers have to look at where to cut the budget. One of the decisions on the table is whether to cut funding to the charter school capital construction fund from $10 million down to $5 million. This money goes to buy or lease property, as well as to do building construction, renovation, and major maintenance. The proposed cut might not be a huge deal if charter schools were funded equitably in the first place. You can listen to Colorado League of Charter Schools executive director Jim Griffin explain the handicaps public charter schools face in facilities funding, and what sort of effects the proposed reduction might have: I can’t answer big questions like the ones Mr. Petrilli […]

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