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Those who send (or sent) their kids to private school, would you do it again?

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  • Those who send (or sent) their kids to private school, would you do it again?

    Feel like public vs private is always an impossible topic to read about as it devolves into a pissing match before the thread gets locked.

    yet here I am, asking a variant of the same topic. We are considering sending our two kids to an elite private school. They’re currently in elementary school one of the best public school districts in the state, but have been very disappointed with the experience thus far. Some zoning laws have led to class overcrowding problems, and the Covid handling really shed the light on the difference between public and private schools (one was virtual for a week, the other was virtual for almost 2 years).

    Yes, I know it’s a major financial weight, but we will be able to meet our financial goals either way. That said, this is going to be a tough decision to reverse once we make the leap. So I was hoping to get input from those on here who decided to send their kids to private school—was it worth it?



  • #2
    There will likely be bias in the responses either way. We don’t like to admit we would have done something different. In general, those whose kids did private school would do it again and those whose kids did public school would also do it again.

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    • #3
      I don’t think you should anticipate the last two years repeating. Carry on.

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      • #4
        Covid? No I don’t anticipate that causing the same school disruption.

        But overcrowding seems like it will be a prolonged problem. Our 2nd grader is in a class of 30 kids and supposedly redistributing is going to make the problem worse next year

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CordMcNally View Post
          There will likely be bias in the responses either way. We don’t like to admit we would have done something different. In general, those whose kids did private school would do it again and those whose kids did public school would also do it again.
          Agree with above. Our kids are in private school. Financially not the best decision, but would do it again. Depends on your personal values and feelings about public versus private education.

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          • #6
            Not a parent, but I attended private school from nursery school through my PhD; as I try and envision a future as a physician, I enrolled in the local community college to complete some GPA repair classes (and some nursing prerequisites as an alternate path). In my opinion, the experience is night and day favoring private education. If I have a problem, there is someone I can talk to (relatively quickly) at a private school whose job it is to address the issue. Conversely, at the community college, good luck getting an appointment with a counselor due to student volume. In discussions with friends and acquaintances who went the public route for university, they reported difficulties enrolling in required courses, possibly delaying their graduation or requiring "super terms" loaded with four major-required courses, impacting their academic performance.

            I realize that my post is specific to college, but it wouldn't surprise me if some of the same issues are true for high school and elementary education as well. Even if you live in a well-off area where the public school "approximates" the private school, you might be at the mercy of teacher's/administrator's/para-professional/service unions, school board politics, et cetera.

            Given all of that, if I had kids, and the financial wherewithal to elect private education, I would go that route.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by F0017S0 View Post
              Not a parent, but I attended private school from nursery school through my PhD; as I try and envision a future as a physician, I enrolled in the local community college to complete some GPA repair classes (and some nursing prerequisites as an alternate path). In my opinion, the experience is night and day favoring private education. If I have a problem, there is someone I can talk to (relatively quickly) at a private school whose job it is to address the issue. Conversely, at the community college, good luck getting an appointment with a counselor due to student volume. In discussions with friends and acquaintances who went the public route for university, they reported difficulties enrolling in required courses, possibly delaying their graduation or requiring "super terms" loaded with four major-required courses, impacting their academic performance.

              I realize that my post is specific to college, but it wouldn't surprise me if some of the same issues are true for high school and elementary education as well. Even if you live in a well-off area where the public school "approximates" the private school, you might be at the mercy of teacher's/administrator's/para-professional/service unions, school board politics, et cetera.

              Given all of that, if I had kids, and the financial wherewithal to elect private education, I would go that route.
              It doesn’t seem entirely fair to judge top tier universities or even a good public K-12 school district with your experience at community college.

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              • #8
                Think like so many things, it depends on location.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tangler View Post
                  Think like so many things, it depends on location.
                  And probably more important is the child.
                  Some shall I say are rather independent and don’t need much individual attention. Others take time to develop self motivation. Big fish in a little pond or a little fish in a big pond ?
                  Some kids your probably wasting your money, gonna be a shark in any water.

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                  • #10
                    We sent our kids to a mixture of public and private schools. Moved around a lot with the military. By high school we were totally private schools. Yes, we would do it again both for the education outcome and the learning environment. But I would say you need to consider how your kid learns and the quality of the schools available both on the public and private side. One of my kids was fine in a big public school environment and we kept him in public until high school. One needed a more focused environment and we shifted to private in elementary school after a teacher told us she wasn’t bad enough to get extra attention but would not succeed in the large class setting. (The issue here was that it was an award winning public school and people from all around were pulling off shenanigans to get their kids/grandkids into the school leading to overcrowding.)

                    Flip side, I will say that the private schools, and especially elite ones, will not treat you as the customer. You and your kids will get the experience they offer. Works fine until your kid has an issue. And very annoying given the cost.

                    In the end this comes down to personal choice. Good luck.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hank View Post

                      It doesn’t seem entirely fair to judge top tier universities or even a good public K-12 school district with your experience at community college.
                      I will not deny that my perspective is limited, as I can only share my anecdotal observations. I consider myself very fortunate to have received the education and earned the degrees that I have. Nor do I want to leave the impression that public schools are generally “terrible”. I personally support a robust public option, but that option is distributed to wherever the money is.

                      On the other hand, private schools do not have many of the same elements present in public education that I enumerated above in my previous post. For some that might be reason enough to go private, others might go private for other reasons.

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                      • #12
                        We are happy with our pvt schools . We also had bad experience in our so called best public school . I don’t live in an area known for good public education .

                        what I am not happy about is the time off both at public or pvt schools (sorry it’s a digression)
                        I am not sure how other countries do it ( who are high achievers in STEM)
                        what do they want parents to do during these breaks ? Not everyone can work from home .
                        I hope US doesn’t lag behind in education in future .

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                        • #13
                          My wife went to private school and i went to public. I think i had a better experience than her. My parents paid like 18k/year in school taxes(so for 2 kids= 10k/kid/year. Private school for her was prob 40k/year.

                          She was surrounded only by very wealthy individuals and it definitely plays a role in how she views the world(few 9 and 10 figure net-worths there).

                          My classmates net-worths were probably 6-7 figures. richest friend probably mid 8 figures.

                          Anyways, im pro public school. Plenty of kids went to IVY league. Just make sure it is a "good public school"





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                          • #14
                            The goal isn’t to maximize the chance at Harvard as much as it is minimize the chance of an introverted kid getting lost in the shuffle. What I’ve seen from my oldest the past few years is alarming. There are plenty of pros and cons to private school, but there’s no doubt in my mind kids get more attention when the teacher:student ratio is cut in half.

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                            • #15
                              We intended to use our excellent public school system.

                              My son had some learning issues, and he went to private school from K-12, and we are, in retrospect, we are happy with that decision for him.
                              Our daughter started in private elementary school (pre-K through 5), and we switched her to out public schools for middle and high school. If we could do it over, we would have continued private school for her.

                              Every kid is different, every parent is different, and everyone has a different set of options depending on where they live. This is not a one-size-fits-all issue, IMO.

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