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  • #16
    Any metrics on ways to evaluate schools? Best method to obtain these metrics?

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    • #17
      Originally posted by klubs24 View Post
      Someone talk me into or out of private school for my kids. Long story short, there's a private school in our area that is $10k a year. The pros of sending our kids are the seemingly amazing curriculum including language immersion, robotics, full STEAM curriculum and small class sizes. Cons are obviously the cost. We do live in an area that has reportedly good to great public schools but we're newer here and have little experience with them. We think it would be a great opportunity for the kids to have a unique curriculum but obviously not necessary. Thoughts?


      we live in a city in a state with some of the highest rated public schools but we chose to send our 3 children to private school that cost $10K+ each/year. why?
      1) religious eduction and high quality learning
      2) teachers care more than anywhere I have ever seen. they are paid less than public schools so they are not there for the money
      3) education and character are stressed
      4) you dont teach down to the least common denominator like in public school
      5) all parents have high drive and desires for their kids and all have the same goal in mind=great education
      6) they handled covid amazingly and we didnt skip a beat as far as school is concerned
      7) public schools were closed for months where as we were up and running within a week or 2
      8) public schools lost track of numerous kids during covid-so sad. our school was constantly in contact with us and made sure everyone knew what was going on. we didnt lose track of a single student
      9) if your child doesn't behave according to the school code, they can be dismissed. I've heard of kids in public schools throw fits by throwing furniture and the staff can do nothing about it other than stop class and get all the rest of the kids out of the room until the kid is done destroying the room. no way this would fly at private school.
      10) discipline is not a bad word in private school
      11) we dont have safe zones for the snowflakes
      12) small class sizes so we have great student to teacher ratios
      13) teachers actually care about your student. and will contact you personally if they see an issue with your child

      there is more but you get the idea. if you think its a great idea and a great school. go for it. $10k will be minuscule in terms of payback. the cost hasnt hurt our savings much at all. as someone else said, set up 529 plans for you and your wife for each of your children and that makes it pre tax savings that can be used for their schooling to make it even more affordable and helps decrease your taxes too.

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      • #18
        Surprised to see the near unanimity about this

        im sure it varies where you live, but by me going to the best private schools means spending 40k / year per child. You’re outta your mind if you think 1.5 million is worth sending my 3 kids to 1-8th grade. Why not just buy a million dollar house in the best school district and load up the 529s with the balance instead?

        I view it like choosing the big name med school for premium tuition vs the local state school which gives you a full ride. Will the extra bucks open more doors? Probably. But Are they the only doors that lead you where you want to end up? Probably not.

        there is a time and place to splurge on your kids education. Unless the public option is truly lacking, elementary and middle school is not that time. That said, if it were 10k for private school where I live, I’d probably choose that option

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        • #19
          I have no problem with people choosing what they think is best for their kids. But I don’t think that necessarily means private school. If the public schools are good I would give them a chance, and go private later on if it’s not turning out to be a great option. I echo the above poster, private schools in my area are closer to 30-40k / year. For my 3 kids that’s around 1.5 mil.

          I decided to buy a house in a great school district (cost about .75 mil more then the bad school district nearby). But that is a cost that can be recouped when selling. The money spent on school is just gone. If we do decide to go the private route for whatever reason I will certainly be moving. Whether you plan to go private is definitely something to consider before paying for it (by the premium you pay to buy in a good district).

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          • #20
            10K is cheap. So I am surprised that they could off all that you talked about for that low a price. Here the cost is more likely to be in the 20-30K range.

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            • #21
              Have you visited the school options? Not sure what they are doing during covid for the tour/application process. We visited all the schools (a lot of them) and you could get a good feel of the school from that and talking to parents. I was surprised to find out that most parents don’t visit/research the schools and just pick one either because it’s their district or they “think” it’s a good school or it must be good because it’s expensive. We did a lot of research. Does your area have magnet schools? Charter schools? Those are options too.

              make a list of your family values and goals for education. Then find a school that lines up with your family’s specific needs. If that happens to come out as private, then run the numbers and see if the benefits outweigh the costs.

              you mention the curriculum at the private school option, but what about character development/teaching the whole child? That’s what I found to be the main difference between public/private here.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by chocolatebear11 View Post
                Any metrics on ways to evaluate schools? Best method to obtain these metrics?
                There’s the website greatschools.org. But hard to know how they obtain their ratings. I found it best to visit the schools and talk to as many parents as possible. Research the specific curriculum they are using.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by DollaBill$ View Post



                  set up 529 plans for you and your wife for each of your children and that makes it pre tax savings that can be used for their schooling to make it even more affordable and helps decrease your taxes too.
                  529 contributions are post tax dollars. Not tax deductible. The growth is not taxed. Your state may offer deductions but mine does not. So for those with no state benefit, it does not make sense to use 529 for lower education.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by mamaham View Post

                    529 contributions are post tax dollars. Not tax deductible. The growth is not taxed. Your state may offer deductions but mine does not. So for those with no state benefit, it does not make sense to use 529 for lower education.
                    There are people around with 500K in their kids 529s before they hit middle school. Those people probably ought to spend what they can out of the 529. But for most people, I'd agree that spending from a 529 kind of defeats the purpose unless you're just doing it to get the immediate state tax benefit and that really makes a difference with respect to whether you can send your kid to a particular school or not.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by TheTodd View Post
                      I have no problem with people choosing what they think is best for their kids. But I don’t think that necessarily means private school. If the public schools are good I would give them a chance, and go private later on if it’s not turning out to be a great option. I echo the above poster, private schools in my area are closer to 30-40k / year. For my 3 kids that’s around 1.5 mil.
                      I'd have absolutely no problem doing that if it were the best option. I'm thrifty on a lot of things, but not this. Clearly, it depends on how much money you make, so I suppose there is an income level at which this would be impossible for me to do despite my desires, but I'd try pretty hard to make it work.


                      I decided to buy a house in a great school district (cost about .75 mil more then the bad school district nearby). But that is a cost that can be recouped when selling. The money spent on school is just gone.
                      Sure the money is gone, but that education doesn't go anywhere. It will shape the kids entire life. The benefits are permanent and sometimes they even accrue interest.

                      Obviously if you can get the same or better result from a public school, then do that. But if you can't, there are worse ways to spend money.

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                      • #26
                        I think you’re overstating the benefits of private school

                        Maybe If the child has specific needs a public school can’t accommodate, or the public school option is TRULY lacking, with substandard resources, then i would agree. But That’s not reality for where most doctors live.

                        there is a certain bar a school needs to clear to allow a kid to thrive. It’s not a very high bar, and most public schools in wealthy areas clear it. Beyond that, it’s up to the child’s intrinsic motivation and intelligence that determines where they end up in life.

                        maybe I’m biased by my own experiences. Some children are hampered by private school and thrive in public; I was one of them.
                        Last edited by Rotish; 04-05-2021, 04:35 AM.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by chocolatebear11 View Post
                          Any metrics on ways to evaluate schools? Best method to obtain these metrics?
                          This is one website that uses “objective” data (very debatable) to rank schools.

                          https://polarislist.com

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by AR View Post

                            There are people around with 500K in their kids 529s before they hit middle school. Those people probably ought to spend what they can out of the 529. But for most people, I'd agree that spending from a 529 kind of defeats the purpose unless you're just doing it to get the immediate state tax benefit and that really makes a difference with respect to whether you can send your kid to a particular school or not.
                            agree that those with huge 529s are better to spend. But that lends to the question.... why so much in 529? Seems like over saving? Or is it a case of relatives contributions? Or something else?

                            A good problem to have I guess. I’m trying to just save what we need for college (no state benefit) because I don’t want to pay penalties if we end up with extra.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by ttc99 View Post

                              This is one website that uses “objective” data (very debatable) to rank schools.

                              https://polarislist.com
                              Not so sure about that one, it only looks at how many kids go to Harvard, Princeton, and MIT as its measure. It doesn't even include my Alma Mater, so it is clearly wrong.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by ttc99 View Post

                                This is one website that uses “objective” data (very debatable) to rank schools.

                                https://polarislist.com
                                That's actually pretty funny to look at for various flyover states where many students don't go (or want to go) to the only 3 colleges they use for their rankings. For many states, all it takes is one student to go to one of those schools and all of a sudden they are a 'top school' in that state.

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