Service of The Sky’s the Limit
January 7th, 2013
Last week NYC School Chancellor Dennis Walcott spoke with morning talk show host John Gambling, WOR Radio, about the looming public school bus strike. The city pays almost $7,000 a year to transport each of 150,000 children by yellow bus compared to approximately $3,000 in LA, which claims the next highest public school transportation cost.
News4 New York in “NYC Preps for Possible School Bus Driver Strike” reported: “The city has not used significant competitive bidding for new yellow bus contracts since 1979, according to [Mayor] Bloomberg and Walcott.”
Regarding another example of excess, I saved The Wall Street Journal‘s “Mansion” section from early December because the headline “Resort Living Comes to Campus” caught my eye. In light of the struggles of so many students to pay for college and the debts they incur, I marveled at Dawn Wotapka’s headline.
Wotapka wrote: “Welcome to University House, a $65 million private college dormitory that just opened near the University of Central Florida. Built by Inland American Communities Group, University House is one of the latest upscale communities sprouting up in college towns-including East Lansing, Mich., Tempe, Ariz., College Station, Texas, and others. Developers say that colleges provide a steady stream of new customers every year, and that students-and their parents-are willing to pay for luxury amenities.”
These include custom furniture, walk-in closets, private bedrooms and bathrooms and shared kitchens with granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances. A one-bedroom solo costs nearly $1,000/month.
Wotapka addresses the financial risks for the developers of the luxury dorms as more and more enter the field and the economy continues to drone but I’m more interested in the concept and the fact that it worked for even 10 minutes in this or any other economy.
Who sends children to college to live in luxury’s lap? I’m sure that the University of Central Florida is a fine school but wouldn’t whoever pays the bill be better off covering the tuition in an even better school than forking over money for fancy living accommodations? Is learning no longer the point or is it more important for precious offspring to take a bubble bath for as long as they want [which was what one student raved about her apartment setup].
Nothing’s too good for our children but for less than $7,000/year per student [imagine the money to be made for a family of four kids and/or several neighbors], I bet the New York City school system could find a taxi service or retired neighbor willing to drive children back and forth to school and put the money where it belongs–better teachers. Further, I’m ashamed at the success, even if only fleeting, of the luxury dorms. Your thoughts?