Almanac

Viewpoint - December 4, 2013

Letter: Private schools get a raw deal on expansion

Private schools are at a severe disadvantage in the education marketplace when they want to build new facilities to handle over-enrollment, obstacles which government schools routinely overcome.

Crystal Springs Upland School's effort to build a middle school in Belmont is one example. A plan to add a gym to Charles Armstrong School in Belmont is another example. One need only look at the relative ease with which the San Mateo Community College District built it's San Mateo Athletic Club and Aquatic Center, and how the huge performing arts centers at Carlmont, Menlo Atherton and San Mateo High were built.

Another example of discrimination can be found in Palo Alto where Castilleja, an all girls school, was fined $256,000 for having too many students.

Why don't we fine government schools, whose class size reductions of more than 30 percent have resulted in underutilized facilities, costing taxpayers possibly millions of dollars. If class size was returned to historic levels, there would be a 30 percent surplus in classroom space which could be leased to private schools.

Let's level the playing field.

Jack Hickey, Emerald Hills

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