The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal both weigh in today about what happens when families who sign a contract for Manhattan private school then back out, often because the child has been admitted to a top public school.  A number of schools, including Mandell, Friends, York Prep, and Little Red, have sued parents for a year’s tuition.

One private school administrator claims that holding New Yorkers liable for tuition money is necessary because the school will not necessarily be able to refill the spot.  I think that in this admissions climate–this was the hardest year ever for kindergarten admission–that is not true at the more desirable schools at typical admissions years such as kindergarten and 6th grade.  Only at the less competitive schools, particularly at off years, would this be an issue.

Obviously rather than asking the NYC Department of Education to adjust their G&T notification calendar, as another private school administrator blithely suggests, private schools should adjust their kindergarten contract schedules.  Naturally most haven’t because it’s a sellers’ market.