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Letter: The Digital Age Of Education

Newsday had an excellent article last week about the problems facing private colleges here on Long Island. Except, of course, for one glaring omission: What is the genesis of this situation?


Is it possible that higher education is in the same boat as most school districts on Long Island? Are the incredible bloated salaries, health care benefits, and pensions of the administrators and most personnel the reason? 


Over the past few years, I have been involved in the reorganization and downsizing of my local school district and what I found most interesting was that of the approximately $85 million annual operating budget about 80 percent of that $85 million went to salaries, pensions, and benefits. I would be very interested to find out what percentage of the operating budgets of these colleges are dedicated to these same costs? 


The business of education, like all businesses, is now in a constant state of revolution. All those anticipating a slow Darwinian evolution are in for a rude awakening. To use a 19th-century metaphor, that boat has sailed. And the idea that all of these wonderful schools will still exist in their current form, or any form, in 10 or 20 years is a pipe dream. 


The digital age of education is here and most of these schools are still fighting yesterday’s battle. And to ask the students and their families to pay ridiculously high tuition to fund these legacy costs is a poor business decision at best. 


It’s time for the professional educators to see the light. They are going to have to make some radical changes.


It’s time for people to recognize the fact that they are not worth the money. 


John Napolitano 


Williston Park