beijing, china, mandarin

Chinese students a new funding source for U.S. high schools

Chinese exchange student Jixian "Johnny" Wang gets a pep talk from Rinate Jefferson, an official with the private recruiting company Tower Bridge.

Tuition-paying Chinese students escaping intense competition back home are providing much-needed money and cultural exposure to U.S. high schools.

Yosemite High School once offered six wood shop classes. Now there are three.

Things got worse when a new high school opened in a neighboring district and many students transferred. Campus enrollment is down from 1,100 five years ago to about 700 today.

School officials are now looking to a faraway place for salvation. As soon as next fall, Yosemite High could welcome 25 students from China who would pay $10,000 or more in tuition to enjoy an American public education amid mountain scenery. They would boost revenue and inject an international flavor into a school with few immigrant families.