NYC private schools, home of New York’s wealthiest families, are racing to build new facilities and improve existing ones, using public money.
According to Martin Z Braun of Bloomberg Business, NYC private schools borrow through Build NYC Resource Corp., a city agency that facilitates nonprofits raising money through the municipal-bond market.
In his article NYC Prep Schools Binge on Debt to Lure Rich With New Pool, Labs, Braun explains that the schools later repay investors, who earn lower interest rates which they accept because the income is nontaxable. NYC private schools are eager to quickly improve their offerings, as today’s parents are very demanding.
“It exactly parallels what is happening with colleges,” said Emily Glickman, a New York City-based private school admissions consultant. “If you have to pay a boatload of money, you want to get the most that you can. It’s hard to claim to be a really prestigious private school if your facility looks old.”
Avenues, a for-profit school that opened almost three years ago in a 10-story Chelsea warehouse, raised the standard for what a private Manhattan school should look like, said Glickman, the admissions consultant. With a bi-lingual curriculum of Spanish or Mandarin and English, it costs $45,350 a year to attend.
Braun details building projects going on at Riverdale, Fieldston, Saint Ann’s, Packer, and La Scuola.
Municipal bonds are debt obligations issued by cities and other governmental entities to raise money to build schools and other projects for the public good. Is it a public good when only those lucky and wealthy enough to go to private school benefit? Mayor De Blasio’s spokesperson says yes, because all this expansion means more jobs.