A bailout for private schools?

Don't bank on it, but public schools aren't the only ones feeling the pinch from our current economic crisis. Budget woes have also seen private school enrollments drop and financial aid costs rise. "We just couldn't keep writing the check," explains San Francisco parent Cynthia Hogan. "It was killing us." With rising college tuition looming just beyond high school graduation, parents are looking into other options. According to data from the Department of Education (impressively dug up by The Associated Press), private school enrollment has been dropping in the aftermath of recessions for decades; this year, however, the schools may be particularly hard hit. Already it looks like enrollment is down 120,000 students nationally (out of six million kids in non-public education). Unfortunately, Catholic schools, long teetering on the edge of financial disaster, may be struck the hardest, serving, as they do, many working and middle class families. If you're looking for another reason to pray for a speedy economic recovery, may we suggest you add this one to the list?

"Private schools pinched as aid requests rise," by Christine Amario and Libby Quaid, The Associated Press, January 12, 2009