For-profit schools not the answer

-A A +A

 In his column on for-profit/charter/online education in Wednesday’s Los Alamos Monitor, Paul Gessing states: “ Non-profits, by contrast, have little incentive to become ‘early adopters’ of cost-saving tools and techniques, such as online instruction.” This is arrant nonsense.
 I dare him to present a single non-profit that prefers to waste contributions rather than maximize the effective use of their funding for their specific goals. It is true that they rarely can put aside funds for investment in what may ultimately enhance productivity -- but Gessing should distinguish between lack of incentive and limited capability.
Why can’t he celebrate New Mexico being “in the Middle of the pack” in embracing digital education? For a change, we are not 49th or 50th in the Nation! Perhaps we could do even better if the Rio Grande Foundation were to provide grants rather than knocks and assist local non-profits supporting the same goals.
Terry Goldman
Los Alamos 

Other factors

Good points. There's are other disadvantages of for-profit education. First,expenditures cut profits. For-profit schools must consider "Return On Investment" (at some level), and this is not equivalent to "best education for the money". Second, for-profits tend to favor higher-income families, since they can raise their rates to suit their clientele. Children from poor families are doubly disadvantaged and opportunities to rise above humble origins are reduced to some extent. I think this is unhealthy for society at large.

William Mead