Markets in Everything: US Public Schools

Reuters: Across the United States, public high schools in struggling small towns are putting their empty classroom seats up for sale.

In Sharpsville, Pennsylvania, and Lake Placid, New York, in Lavaca, Arkansas, and Millinocket, Maine, administrators are aggressively recruiting international students.

They’re wooing well-off families in China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Russia and dozens of other countries, seeking teenagers who speak decent English, have a sense of adventure – and are willing to pay as much as $30,000 for a year in an American public school.

The end goal for foreign students: Admission to a U.S. college.

So far the numbers are small. US high schools do outperform those in many other countries but the quality is modest relative to other developed countries and it’s hard for me to see this as a boom market. Nevertheless, I think I will warn my teenager that an exchange program with South Korea is an option.

Hat tip: Daniel Lippman.


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