As jobs and families disappeared from this former mining town in the heart of the Adirondacks, the local public school here faced a grim choice: shut its doors or consolidate with another school district.
In 2007, however, the new superintendent realized that his greatest weakness — empty seats — might actually be his greatest asset. He's now selling slots at his high school to foreign students willing to pay $10,000 for one yearof an American education.
In an age when many educators fret about the USA's chronic struggle to make its students competitive with those in nations such as Finland and Singapore, flags of many countries line the main corridor at Newcomb Central School. Newcomb's embrace of foreign students is part of agrowing movement among rural American school districts struggling to stay afloat amid declining enrollments, said Newcomb superintendent Clark "Skip" Hults,