Private school enrollments tend to ebb and flow with the economy. And so fall 2009 private school numbers expectedly dipped in response to 2008’s economic downturn. But fall 2010 might be another story. Some parents, it seems, are fed up with public school districts making the wrong budget cuts—lopping specialized programs, extra-curriculars, and electives—and with seniority based layoffs which, by cutting the least expensive teachers regardless of quality, unduly increase class size. In the Chicago area, some independent and parochial schools are being swamped with applications from parents who don’t see their tax dollars being put to good use at the local district school. In New Jersey, taxpayers are voting down school budget bailouts while local private schools are stepping up their advertising efforts to lure away disaffected parents. The message is clear: If school leaders are unwilling to make the tough decisions and cut the fat, parents will vote with their feet.
“Public schools’ loss may be private schools’ gain,” by Robert Channick, Chicago Tribune, June 4, 2010
“Private schools could benefit from cuts in public education,” by Rob Jennings, New Jersey Daily Record, May 23, 2010