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Cut costs at private schools

November 14, 2008

Re "Private schools are feeling the pinch," Nov. 10

Your article on how private schools in Los Angeles are responding to the financial downturn cites fundraising initiatives but does not mention any specific efforts to cut operating costs. Many private schools could tighten their budgets without compromising quality.

Plans for expansion, remodeling and new technology could be postponed or scaled back. While some facilities and technology may no longer be state of the art, they are often still quite serviceable. Class size also could be increased slightly to provide more revenue. In addition, participants in costly extracurricular activities, such as sports, could pay extra fees that could be waived for those on scholarship.

Lessons could be learned from some religiously affiliated schools, many of which provide high-quality education at far lower tuition levels. Moves to economize that are transparent and reflect the input of faculty, students and their families could strengthen school loyalties and engender goodwill.

I hope that private schools will successfully meet the challenge to improve affordability without sacrificing the high quality of education.

Rachel Kantrowitz

Los Angeles

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