Opinion

Endowments: Ready Cash? Rainy Day Funds?

Updated
|
Endowments: Ready Cash? Rainy Day Funds?
Most private schools have endowment funds. We explain how these work and why schools are fortunate to have them in tough times.

On March 27, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stimulus Act of 2020 (the "CARES Act"). What is the Act's purpose and who does it benefit? According to The National Law Review

 "Title I of the CARES Act establishes, among other things, the Paycheck Protection Program (the "Paycheck Program") providing for up to $349,000,000,000 in forgivable loans to business concerns which are backed by the United States Small Business Administration (the "SBA"). The Paycheck Program is a short-term program for the "Covered Period" from February 15, 2020, until June 30, 2020, and loans are capped at the lesser of 2.5x a borrower’s LTM average monthly payroll or $10,000,000 per borrower."    

 

Shortly after that, we began to hear stories about businesses that received loans and didn't appear on the surface as the kind of company that should receive a loan. According to the Washington-Post

. . .read more

School Choice in 2018

Updated
|
School Choice in 2018
Many people thought vouchers would never amount to much. Not only have they amounted to a great deal more than anybody could have thought, but vouchers have encouraged several more education choices to flourish.

School choice has been a fact in American K-12 education since 1989. That year the State of Wisconsin passed a voucher program which aimed to help students from low-income families in Milwaukee. Since then 39 states have established school choice programs.  Depending on the state, school choice programs have expanded to include educational savings accounts, tax credit scholarships, and individual tax credit/deduction which parents can use to send their children to a private school. 

Most states also allow parents to transfer their children from underperforming public schools to higher-performing public schools. In addition, many states have permitted the establishment of charter schools as one more alternative to an underperforming public school.  Because allocating taxpayer funding to educational resources other than public schools is controversial, numerous legal challenges have been filed. Depending on the state, you will see a variety of workarounds including the afore-mentioned educational savings accounts, tax credit scholarships, and individual tax credits/deductions.

According to the American Federation for Children, the following states now have some form of funding for school choice program. In fact, several states offer several educational choice options.  For the latest information https://www.federationforchildren.org/

Other resources include Noodle which has assembled a useful guide to the various educational choice options on a regional and state basis. 
The National

. . .read more

Where Did the 115th Senate Go to High School?

Updated
|
Where Did the 115th Senate Go to High School?
After conducting a survey of the educational backgrounds of current U.S. senators we were able to draw some interesting conclusions. Keep reading to learn more.

Since the year 1913, American citizens have voted to elect state senators, but that has not always been the case. Up until the mid-1850s, senators were appointed by the legislatures of the state they represented in a system that worked quite well. The idea behind this method of selection was that allowing state legislatures to elect their senators would strengthen their tie to the national government and allow them to conduct business without the distraction of pressure from the general population.

Upon the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, however, things changed. Senators are now elected by popular vote with each senator representing a single state, and each state is represented by two senators. Senators play an important role in the U.S. government by writing and voting on bills, legislation that affects the people in their representative state.

Because U.S. senators have the power to approve or deny legislation that directly affects their constituents, it is important that each senator be a fair representation of the people and the politics of each state. Problems arise when there is a disconnect between the politics and the people – when a senator votes based on his own agenda rather than the will of the people. Each senator’s educational background and upbringing bears significant weight in the decisions he makes for his state.

We recently conducted a survey of all U.S. senators to collect some information about their educational background. After collecting this information, we analyzed it and were able to draw some interesting

. . .read more

The Velcro Parent

Updated
|
The Velcro Parent
Velcro is a hook and loop fastener which sticks things together. It also has become a popular term for describing a certain kind of over-protective parent.

Velcro is a hook and loop fastener which sticks things together. It also has become a popular term for describing a certain kind of over-protective parent. The other term used to describe such parents is helicopter parent. The term drone is also used. I was curious about the phenomenon as I don't recall that Nancy or I were that over-protective with our children. My research indicates that hovering came into vogue with the advent of smartphones. Texting and apps make keeping in touch with your children very easy to do. Having said that, it is very easy to be too involved. That is not good for your child, and her school will not appreciate your velcro tendencies. There has to be a balance between hands-on involvement and a hands-off approach. So, let's approach the issue from that perspective. We will look at how this applies to each grade level as your children progress through their schools.

Pre-school

I was one of those lucky fathers who got to drive his daughters to their pre-schools. In those days back in the 70s, I was on the staff of a large Episcopal church on Long Island. Our house was about 2 miles from my eldest daughter's pre-school. The pre-school was located in the Sunday School classroom wing of the church. In fact, the school had just been established because there was such a strong demand for pre-schools in that south shore community.

Literally, the two of us would get out

. . .read more

Could This Happen To My Child?

Updated
|
Could This Happen To My Child?
Scandals in private school are bound to raise questions for those of us thinking about sending our children to private school. Regardless of how sensational these scandals may appear, they are actually few and far between.

The recent events at historic Saint Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire raise questions for those of us considering private school. The story was hard to miss as it seemed to air virtually non-stop for a week. Against that backdrop let's look at things from our parental perspective.

What are the odds of this happening in the school our children attend?

Probably not very likely at all. Statistically speaking, there are very few incidents such as this occurring in private schools annually. I searched carefully to see what I could find about private school scandals past and present. Honestly, there wasn't much out there, perhaps a handful or so of incidents annually. You can find the results of my search at the end of this article. The sensational coverage of the St. Paul's story tended to blow the incident way out of proportion in my opinion. I would think that the risk of similar events happening elsewhere is insignificant.

How could something like this happen in a private school which prides itself on 24/7 supervision of its students?

All private schools including Saint Paul's take their students' safety very seriously. In the case of boarding schools, their responsibility extends to 24/7 supervision while the students are in residence on campus. With day schools things work a bit differently because school opens in the morning and dismisses at the end of the school day. As a result, what happens in the late afternoon and evening is our parental

. . .read more

Recent Articles

Teen Travel In Uncertain Times
Teen Travel In Uncertain Times
Most adults find traveling more complicated and challenging that it was pre-pandemic. We offer some suggestions for safe teen travel in these uncertain times.
Using Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest to Promote Your School
Using Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest to Promote Your School
Social media is an effective marketing tool for your school. Here are some suggestions for using Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest.
Should Teachers Be Unionized?
Should Teachers Be Unionized?
One of the basic differences between private and public schools is the fact that most public school teachers belong to a union. Should teachers be unionized?

Opinion