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With school plans unclear, affluent US parents are pursuing other options

Young boys learning.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
Class dismissed.
  • Michelle Cheng
By Michelle Cheng


Published Last updated on

Frustrated by the lack of clarity on reopening plans from the private school where she spends $20,000 a year, Bonnie, a mother of three from the North Shore suburbs of Chicago, is betting that she can organize a better educational experience in a pandemic.

She’ll hire a private tutor to teach between six and eight kids in a rented office space for four hours a day. She estimates the tutor will cost $100 an hour. The rent is $1,300 per month. The total cost for each student? About $1,200 a month.

Bonnie sees it as a bargain. (For fear of being shunned from her children’s private school, she requested we publish only her first name, noting “how bananas this [situation] has turned into.”) If her idea works, she won’t have to deal with potential school shutdowns. Nor will she have to pay full tuition for a remote or hybrid education.

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