Monday, August 3, 2015

Summer School Courses

 It's only the third time I've gone this year. 

I better prepare you first:

"Pay surges for local prep school leaders; Complexities of job cited as justification for salaries" by Peter Schworm and Monica Disare Globe Staff | Globe Correspondent  July 27, 2015

The ranks of prestigious New England prep schools — the Andovers, Exeters, and Grotons of the world — have long served as springboards to the Ivy League and other elite colleges. As salaries of college presidents have risen to new heights, compensation for their prep school counterparts has quietly surged in kind, a Globe survey has found.

It's common across the top of all of AmeriKn in$titutions now: rank greed.

Among leaders of more than 30 top private high schools in New England, the median pay package was nearly $450,000 in 2012, a 23 percent climb from 2009, according to complete data from the most recent tax filings. Some 2013 figures are also available.

The head of Belmont Hill School, a private boys’ school with about 440 students, received $700,000 in compensation in 2013, according to the school’s latest tax filings. The head of Buckingham Browne & Nichols in Cambridge received $627,000, while the leaders of Deerfield Academy in Western Massachusetts, Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut, and St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire were each paid more than $500,000.

Related: DA Sex Abuse Charge Dug Out of Grave 

Seems to be a prevalent practice at the elite schools.

At Noble and Greenough, a Dedham prep school with just over 600 students, head of school Robert Henderson Jr. received nearly $1.3 million in salary and compensation in 2012 — an amount that included what a school official said was a one-time only payment.

The $1.3 million topped the salary of any college president in Massachusetts in 2012 save one.

The private school salaries are available in public tax filings. Most schools declined to respond to Globe queries on their amounts, but private school groups defended the rising salaries as commensurate with a difficult job description.

“The role of head of school is one that requires one’s body, mind, and soul,” said Claire Leheny, executive director of the Association of Independent Schools in New England. “It’s a job that has a lot of scrutiny and a lot of responsibility.”

High salaries for college presidents and other heads of nonprofits have come under criticism in recent years as running counter to the institutions’ charitable mission, and have sparked debate over whether they are misusing their tax-exempt status.

But they do make voluntary payments.

Sandra Miniutti, vice president of marketing for Charity Navigator, the country’s largest independent evaluator for charities and nonprofits, said leaders of nonprofits typically receive yearly raises of 2 to 3 percent.

With rare exceptions, salaries for the leaders of private high schools have drawn little public notice. But the trend is the same, specialists say. Nationally, the median salary for heads of independent schools is $230,000, up more than 15 percent from 2011, according to the National Association of Independent Schools.

In New England, which boasts a wealth of top-tier private schools, compensation has climbed even faster. A number of headmasters saw their pay jump by $100,000 in past years. They include Deerfield’s Margarita Curtis, who received $581,000 in 2013 vs. $469,000 in 2010.

Rodgin Cohen, president of the school’s board of trustees, said Curtis has earned her salary with an “extraordinary” job performance.

David Thiel, a school spokesman, said the role of headmaster is increasingly complex, with responsibilities that range from teaching to courting deep-pocketed donors.

“It takes a rare talent to fill some of those roles,” Thiel said. 

They always have an excu$e at the ready to ju$tify their exclu$ivity.

At the most elite schools, which have sizable endowments, highly competitive admissions, and annual tuition that can top $40,000, the position is comparable to a college presidency, specialists say. And as prep schools compete for talented leaders, they look to their peers as benchmarks for competitive packages....

Better be ready.


For the community college:

"Loan default rates rise for two-year students; Community colleges try to curb reliance on loans" by Laura Krantz Globe Staff  July 20, 2015

A growing number of students at Massachusetts community colleges are borrowing money to pay for school, and in recent years an increasing percentage have defaulted on their loans, a Globe review has found.

It's the next great bailout bubble.

Community colleges are the state’s most affordable colleges, and most students overcome significant hurdles to attend school. Many depend on loans to afford food, rent, and other basic costs while they take classes, especially those who care for children or parents or who must cut work hours to make time for school.

We are all little Greeces now.

Graduating with debt can leave students in a deeper hole as they enter the job market. Still worse, if they drop out, as many do, they are saddled with debt — and no degree.

At least I didn't have debt; I drained my wages and savings to pay for the worthless thing, but I didn't borrow for it.

Counselors at the state’s 15 community colleges, from the Berkshires to Boston, alarmed by the default rates, are doubling down on efforts to help students manage or avoid debt altogether. Many students don’t understand the risk involved in borrowing, and the burden it can impose on their lives, counselors say.

Like they are trying to talk you out of attending.

“When they’re struggling with trying to get the rent paid, and food, and put gas in the car, it’s hard to make a wise borrowing decision,” said Susan Sullivan, director of financial aid at North Shore Community College in Danvers.

The double-digit default rates at Massachusetts community colleges are, for the most part, lower than the national average for community colleges, which is 20.6 percent.

Overall, fewer community college students take out loans than do students at four-year schools, and they leave with less debt.


Financial aid counselors watch default rates like hawks.

A much larger number of students are not in default but are behind on payments, said Paul Combe, president and chief executive of American Student Assistance, a Boston-based nonprofit that specializes in helping students with debt.

There could be light at the end of this dark tunnel, however.

New data are set to come out this fall, and an early version of those numbers indicates default levels are dropping, a trend counselors attribute to their hard work dissuading students from borrowing.

Another trend reflected by federal data is an increase in the number of Massachusetts community college students receiving federal Pell grants, which do not need to be repaid and are reserved for the neediest students.

RelatedObama to extend college aid grants to some prison inmates

Screw you kids.

Counselors say awareness of the grants has heightened among students, and the number of poor students who qualify has increased.

In this age of economic recovery.

In recent interviews, students said they use Pell grants to pay tuition but need a loan to cover daily expenses.

“Students are having to now look to loans to make up for the cost of books, computers,” said Linda Desjardins, director of financial aid at Greenfield Community College.

I call it home.

Several other state scholarships are available to help students, but counselors said those run out quickly. While state financial aid has not decreased, it has not kept up with cost of attendance.


One state aid program for needy students, MassGrant, covered 80 percent of tuition and mandatory fees at all public colleges in 1988, but in 2013 it covered only 8 percent.  

$tunning, and one wonders where is all the money going.

State funding for the colleges has grown modestly, even as the schools saw a dramatic enrollment surge during the recession.

Meanwhile, the cost of tuition and mandatory fees has risen between 39 and 82 percent in the past decade, according to state data. The average community college tuition for a full-time, in-state student is $5,300. For many students, even an increase of a few hundred dollars can deter them from enrolling.

WOW! Got in and out at a good time did I!

Some states are trying different strategies to make community college more affordable. Oregon and Michigan are exploring a “pay it forward” plan, which calls for free tuition but requires students to pay a fixed percentage of their income after graduating to fund current students for 10 or 20 years.

Alina Pacheco, 21, of Randolph, said she was able to complete her associate’s degree this winter at Bunker Hill without taking out loans, but she will have to borrow to finish her degree at Bridgewater State University, which she started this spring.

It’s daunting, she said, thinking about whether she’ll be able to pay them back. “Hopefully it’s worth it,” she said.


Time to move on:

"UMass president lobbies to restore money to budget" by Laura Krantz Globe Staff  July 27, 2015

With one Beacon Hill victory under his belt, Martin T. Meehan, president of the University of Massachusetts, is going for another: lobbying state lawmakers to restore money the governor vetoed from the university budget and pay for collectively bargained raises to staff and professors that have gone unfunded for a year.

Two weeks ago, Meehan succeeded in negotiating a historic change with the governor and lawmakers to improve the way the university bills families, a change all sides have hailed as a win for transparency.

But in the same move, Governor Charlie Baker sliced $5.2 million from the university’s piece of the state pie to $526 million, saying it should find savings elsewhere.

Now Meehan is flexing his political skills to recoup those dollars, as well as score an extra $10.9 million for the contracts. The House could take up both matters next week.

Meanwhile, some in the State House said if UMass succeeds in its quest, it should lower costs to students, which are set to rise next year by between 6 and 8 percent, depending on the campus.

Meehan has said without the vetoed money and extra for contracts, UMass will struggle to come out in the black, and couldn’t necessarily afford to also cut fees.

UMass’s tuition and fees did not rise the past two years, part of a deal negotiated by the former university president that expired this year.

The five-campus UMass system is subject to a double standard, he said, because state universities and community colleges raise fees every year without complaint from Beacon Hill.

“We’re going to do everything we can to keep fees as low as we can, but I’m tired of UMass being used in a political game over fees,” he said Friday.

Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg, who has been an ally of UMass, said Friday that the vetoed dollars should be restored and the contracts funded.

But he also said UMass should reduce fees if it gets any extra money....



"State lawmakers voted by wide margins Wednesday to restore millions of dollars in education funding vetoed by Governor Charlie Baker. The Legislature added $5.25 million back to the University of Massachusetts budget, reinstated $217,000 in funding for Quinsigamond Community College, and restored $17.6 million in kindergarten grants. “Hallelujah!,” said Andre Ravenelle, superintendent of the Fitchburg Public Schools."

Also see:

UMass Memorial Health Care plans big patient record upgrade

$700 million over the next decade

UMass Medical School seeks to bolster profits from science

"Meehan said that cut will make it difficult for the campuses not to run deficits this year, but will make billing more transparent for students and families."

Why was it such a $hell game to begin with?

Time to invade the club!

Harvard finds merit in Hub’s higher level classes

There is always Dartmouth if you don't make it. 

And when class is over:

Don’t expect students to follow new sexual consent rules

"The new rules are difficult to reconcile with the realities of sexual interactions."

You want to take that on?

UPDATE: Interim UMass Lowell chancellor recommended for permanent post


Trustees formalize choice of new UMass Lowell chancellor

Battle to preserve historic Dearborn school seems at end

So is this post.