{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Send kids to private school or move to a 10/10 school area? The average price of home is $1 mill in good areas... rent is $4000. Private school in my sub urban area is $1200 per month for 1 kid. I only have 1 kid right now but planning 1 more in next 2 years", "post_id": "5ecc771f43b48d00221a6f5c", "reply_count": 45, "vote_count": 8, "bowl_id": "59064a3cb12379001006592c", "bowl_name": "Personal Investment Chatter" }

Send kids to private school or move to a 10/10 school area? The average price of home is $1 mill in good areas... rent is $4000. Private school in my sub urban area is $1200 per month for 1 kid. I only have 1 kid right now but planning 1 more in next 2 years

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I always figured I'd move to a better school district when I have kids so they can go to public school. I could be swayed towards private school, but I don't think it's worth the money. But in full disclosure, I went to public school in NJ and went on to an IVY. Here are some points: Towns with good schools are also towns with good neighborhoods. I estimate that I'd only be paying an extra $20k per year on average (taxes + nicer town). That's $10k per kid in school expenses. But not really, because I'm also getting the benefit of a nicer, safer neighborhood for the whole family. Tuition at a good private school around here is probably ~$40k per year, per kid. That's a lot of financial pressure on a family for 12 years straight Private school isn't just tuition. It's also keeping up with the Joneses. When all the other kids are going to fancy summer camps, or playing expensive sports, or driving nice cars, I don't want my kids to feel left out. And along with that last point, I want my kids to have a more well rounded experience. This can be achieved while having a priveleged private school experience, but it's much harder. I do however worry that private schools are the best "college prep" in terms of rigor.

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Agree with C2 across all dimensions. I also went to a solid public school and onto an Ivy, as did many of my high school peers and college friends. For me, it was a well rounded experience, good neighborhood, and equal (if not better) access to colleges at least in my neighborhood (we didn’t have many or great private schools).

Private school kid here - while I loved my grade school years (k-8), it still really bothers me how much my parents spent k-12 on private school. I had initially asked for public high school to get out of my bubble, but they opted for the bigger of the 2 private HS. I know as a parent I plan on finding a good public school and using any money that would’ve been spent on private for college or family experiences such as international travel. I also noticed that several of my peers in college who went to public schools seemed more advanced in particular subjects, especially Math, but that was my experience.

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Unpopular opinion, but is private school necessary? Save the money you would be spending and invest it for your child and spend more time teaching them supplementary material or putting them in educational programs.

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I grew up in a large public school with 5000 kids and didn’t get the attention I needed, but turned out okay. I agree with you on investments instead. Or, save for private colleges. I think that’s where it matters most, when you need to start building good connections for jobs. Some of my coworkers come from top private high schools/primary schools. The only people who know of the reputation are others who went to private school, which is the minority. Kind of defeats the purpose if you’re interviewing and you have to explicitly say how great your school is.

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Be wary of 10/10 if you value diversity, your kids learn differently, or you don't like extra time spent on testing. They aren't 10/10 because you get a fantastic education. They are 10/10 because there are few low socioeconomic students and they prioritize teaching to the test. I suggest looking for schools with ratings in the 5-7 range.

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All depends on the school. I went to secular private school and so did my daughter. They have both been very diverse.

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This question really depends on where you live. I grew up in NJ and the best public schools are impressive. The only reason I saw for going to private schools at the time was for a network or for sports.

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Philadelphia suburbs have very good schools and is cheaper than Jersey

Not all private schools are built the same or worth the money. It depends on the school.

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In my opinion, if you can get close to top blue ribbon or IB K-12 programs, private school is not worth it. I definitely don’t think private k-8 is worth the money at all. I’d prefer to save for their college fund or purchase a vacation home to build memories and pass down for generations. We may consider some of the elite prep schools when it comes time for high school but I’m not wedded to the idea because I know I can get similar value elsewhere for zero tuition. Both of my kids are in top public schools and thriving. One has ADHD and has received top notch support. I cannot say the same for some of my friends who took the private school route and are shoveling out the money for the perceived “status.”

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Private school costs a lot more than just tuition. Add another $3k-$5k easily for the various school related things you’ll have to spend on, not including the fundraisers you are expected to pay into and support. My nephew spends a lot more given the multiple trips he takes with his school, which definitely seems like a private school thing that costs a lot more $$$

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C2 - very true. Keeping up with the Jones’s takes on a whole new meaning!

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We moved to the good school area. The money will be “refunded” when we sell the house and my kid gets to be with a mix of other kids whose parents moved to the area for the schools (high achievers) and “normal” kids. Will expose him to more diversity of persons and income levels and I think that makes a more well rounded individual. Private school life can teach your children to obsess over money at an early age.

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I just made this decision for my kids recently and went with good public schools. Perhaps it’s cause I was publicly educated my entire life but I absolutely believe in a few things: take advantage of your tax dollars that go towards education and houses in good school districts will always be valuable.

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Something to think about is that living in a very highly rated public school district puts your kids at a geographic disadvantage when applying to top schools, because they’re competing with everyone else from that area.

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SVP is right. Regional diversity is definitely a factor in college admissions, especially since top HS act as feeders for some elite colleges and they're trying to move away from that to diversify where their students come from. My colleague's daughter had well above a 4.0 (but not top 5% of her class), top scores on AP exams and over 1400 SAT and she only got into schools ranked in the 20s. Her parents were a bit disappointed because they went to Yale and Harvard and wanted her to but she didn't get in.

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Do you plan on being in the school district for twelve years? If so, I would buy.

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My experience and recommendation is this: Pick a good public school system but be prepared to send your child to private school if they need it. I went to public school in Fairfield County but when I needed extra help in middle school my parents chose a private school with a very small class size. I went back to public for HS (750 students). For my own kids we’re in a top school district with really small elementary schools (~40 kids per grade, 2 home rooms) but then the HS has 2200 students. We’ll be prepared for private school if we need it. Another note: I went to a financial planning seminar once and the speaker highlighted multiple examples where even high salaried people couldn’t retire at 70 because they paid for private school tuition instead of investing the $$.

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That last point is huge. In some cases you're talking $80k+ a year AFTER taxes. Either you're sacrificing on lifestyle and/or savings OR you're like top 5% of earners. Top 15% of earners is a lot of money,but not so much that you're spending like 35-45% of your salary on education for 16 years (don't forget college!)

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Also depends on the needs of your current child and future children. Of course, I wish you the best but speech services, IEP, etc may be readily available in a public school setting as opposed to private.

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Is the academic rigor of public schools at par with those of private schools? I have always felt that due to the lack of a national school leaving exam (think IB or GCE), public schools in the US are not as academically rigorous as Europe (or Asian countries). Is this just my impression, as an immigrant who didn't go to school in the US? Hopefully it is, and am wrong.

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The (good) private schools are and the exceptional public schools are. On average though, no, Asian and Western European public schools are better.

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Assuming the private school and 10/10 schools are perfectly equal in quality and experience, private school.

Depends on what the private school offers that makes it worthwhile. And how many kids you have. I only have one so I decided to go with private school. It focuses on the same priorities that I do, I only have to shell out tuition for one, and I don’t have to move.

We are liking the private school for our child in the formative years. Ratio about 11 to 1. The 9-rated public school here is overcrowded with a 23-1 ratio. The level of attention and detail as to progress is fantastic. At some point though- middle or high school we’ll go public.

What are the stats that I should look for in assessing schools? I noticed that some folks mentioned student to teacher ratio. What is the benchmark for this? What other metrics are important?

If you do a Google search for top schools in STATE, you'll see a list of criteria. Academics, college prep, diversity, food, sports, clubs, facilities. One thing that I would particularly care about for HS is what colleges graduates get accept into. And at what ratio.

Public schools in NJ I believe have a cap at 25:1 and if more than an aide is required. Typically my classes were about 17:1...other benchmarks can be total class size, diversity, avg state test scores for English and math, etc

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