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Going public

As private school tuition on Oahu crosses the threshold of $20,000 per year, more families give public schools a second look -- and they like what they see

By Christine Donnelly

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, May 04, 2014

~~<p>Attorney Clare Hanusz was surprised by the reaction after she was quoted briefly at the tail end of a newspaper story reporting annual tuition increases at Hawaii private schools. Hanusz' son attends one of the three Oahu private schools that will charge $20,000 or more starting next school year, and she explained that he'll be switching to public school because she and her husband, a college professor, are confident the middle-schooler still will receive a good education. Financially, the decision frees the family to travel and save for college.</p>
<p>&quot;Just from sharing that little bit of our thought process, I heard from quite a few people, by phone, by email, who just kind of found me and wanted to talk about this. It seems to be a choice that more people who value education are making, or at least considering -- parents who have good jobs and are well-educated themselves,&quot; said Hanusz. &quot;Some described feeling something like peer pressure to automatically send their kids to private school, as if they'd be letting them down if they didn't, even when there are perfectly good public schools available.&quot;</p>
~~

Attorney Clare Hanusz was surprised by the reaction after she was quoted briefly at the tail end of a newspaper story reporting annual tuition increases at Hawaii private schools. Hanusz' son attends one of the three Oahu private schools that will charge $20,000 or more starting next school year, and she explained that he'll be switching to public school because she and her husband, a college professor, are confident the middle-schooler still will receive a good education. Financially, the decision frees the family to travel and save for college.

"Just from sharing that little bit of our thought process, I heard from quite a few people, by phone, by email, who just kind of found me and wanted to talk about this. It seems to be a choice that more people who value education are making, or at least considering -- parents who have good jobs and are well-educated themselves," said Hanusz. "Some described feeling something like peer pressure to automatically send their kids to private school, as if they'd be letting them down if they didn't, even when there are perfectly good public schools available." Login for more...



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