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Private schools feel the pinch

It seems like The New York Times has had a lot of features lately about rich people who can't live quite as extravagantly as a result of the economic downturn. On Sunday, the lead article in the Style section was about parents who will have to resort to public schools because they can no longer afford private school tuition.

Not surprisingly, Baltimore's private schools are feeling the pinch as well. I've heard the most about the plight of the city's Catholic schools. Mount St. Joseph High sent an e-mail to alumni today saying that the president and principal will both take an 8.5 percent pay cut and the rest of the staff will see wages frozen this year, as the endowment is down 24 percent. This despite the fact that alum Mark Teixeira has a $180 million contract from the Yankees...

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The city's Catholic schools have formed a blue ribbon task force to develop a strategic plan. The committee includes leaders from public education, among them Nancy Grasmick, Joe Hairson and Andrés Alonso. I find Dr. Alonso's placement a bit ironic, since he likes to joke that he wants to put all the private schools in Baltimore out of business. (Seriously, he says, he's trying to develop partnerships.)

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