East Texas private schools dealing with the Recession

By Christel Phillips - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Many people are cutting back on spending in this economy and that often means pulling their children out of private schools. The federal government says private school enrollment has dropped by 120,000 this year but here in East Texas its a different story.

Karen Watson, Business Manager, with St. Cyprians Episcopal School says, "We have not seen a decline in enrollment due to the hard economic times that are hitting people."

Watson says their steady enrollment has been a true blessing compared to others across the area. She adds, " We are part of several regional and national organizations and they are being hit really hard."

But just down the road, Harmony Hill Christian School isn't taking anything for granted. Flo Davis, Administrator for Harmony Hill Christian School says, "We experienced a decline in enrollment the year after the paper mill closed so from 06-07 we experienced a decrease but for 08-09 our enrollment is back up about 9 percent."

But both schools agree, that if any family runs into any financial trouble during these times they are willing to work with them to ensure the education of their children.

"We would do everything we could to accommodate a family that was already hear if something happened in their family, loss of a job, that sort of thing," says Watson.

But private schooling can be a safe investment... better than a bailout or a stimulus.

"As a parent my investment in my children, you couldn't put a face value on it you couldn't put a dollar amount it and that's the way I think parents have to see it, their investing in their child's future," Davis adds.

Even if that means cutting back spending in other areas to afford the private educations prices.

Watson closes by saying, "It's a sacrifice for a lot of the families in this building, it's a sacrifice to send their kids here on a good day."