Private School: Worth Your Money?

A guest post by Trish of Simple in France.

Would you pay $8,000 a year to send your child to private school? According to the Council for American Private Education (http://www.capenet.org/facts.html), that’s the average tuition at a K-8 private school. Assuming tuition doesn’t go up during your child’s schooling, you’re looking at an average of $64,000 for 8 years. And don’t let the averages fool you—some private schools cost quite a bit more.

I know the value of education. I myself am a teacher by trade. Before moving to France from Southern California, my husband and I both worked in a number of excellent (public and private) schools. Still, if you’re considering investing in a private education for your child—I’m sure you want to make sure your money is well spent.

The most important question you can ask yourself in considering private education is: “Is this school worth it for my child?” The answer will vary. Here are some points to consider:

Qualifications of teachers: Academics often argue that a teacher’s ability has more to do with learning than any other factor (including small class sizes, use of technology or specific textbooks . . .). If you want to make sure your child receives an excellent education, research a potential school’s teachers, their qualifications, their backgrounds and even what other parents and students think about them.

I’ve worked in public schools with stringent hiring practices, enticing teacher salaries and top-notch teachers. I’ve also seen private schools that employ teachers without credentials and at a 30% lower salary than their public school counterparts—some of the teachers at these schools were, in fact excellent. Others were mediocre at best.

Individualized Instruction/ Low Student to Teacher Ratio: Having taught in public schools with class sizes as large as 36-40 and private schools with class sizes from 10-20, I’ve experienced the difference. A given teacher can provide more individualized attention per child with smaller groups, and I personally feel that the outcome would be better in a smaller class—provided the teacher of the smaller class is as qualified and competent as the teacher in the larger class.

Once again, however, I would not assume smaller class sizes. Before sending your child to private school, ask about the school’s limit for class sizes.

Safety and Security: This would be my number one reason for considering private school if I had children. I’ve worked in plenty of perfectly save public schools . . . and one or two that were downright violent. I personally would spend the extra money to keep a child safe.

That said, when you consider paying extra to send your child to private school, be sure to take a tour of the campus and check out the safety of the campus for yourself. And don’t overlook perfectly safe public school alternatives.

Social Life and Social Skills: Private schools with their small class sizes can allow some children to bloom in terms of social skills. Students will get to know others faster. They will often find themselves with a close-knit group of friends. However, when small class sizes throw children together who do not get along, private schools can be very unforgiving. Putting your child in private school does not necessarily mean he or she will get along better with peers, in fact, minor social problems can be exacerbated in smaller schools.

Resources for Students with Special Needs: Public schools are required by law to provide services for students with special needs such as learning disabilities, ADHD, deafness etc. Often, it is possible to find public schools with staff trained to assist students with special needs on site. This may not be the case in private schools where parents may need to seek aid from specialists on their own.

Do you or would you send your child to private school? The answer to that question most likely has something to do with the factors I discussed above. It also may have to do with cultural or religious opportunities provided by a given school. Regardless, your experience and your child’s experience is likely to be a unique one.

Trish is the author of the Simple Life in France, a blog describing a duo who moved from California to the countryside of France to escape the rat race. Where the two survive on one income by maintaining a simple, frugal, and sustainable life together.

66 thoughts on “Private School: Worth Your Money?

  1. Pingback: Value of Education at SIF and Money Funk « Simple Life in France

  2. FB @ Fabulouslybroke.com

    My sibling spends $10k a year for each of his kids to go to school.

    Me, I think public is enough for my future kids.

    A) I think it’s also a question of parent involvement in teaching them & encouraging subjects

    B) Kids have the personalities developed to push themselves or not, no matter the environment

    C) With $10k each kid, I’d hire specialized tutors for certain subjects

    D) Creating an environment of self privilege (something i’ve observed in my friends who’ve gone to private schools), MAY (I said MAY) be detrimental to their lives, when they get out into the real world and realize it isn’t a privileged life. Then they feel out of sorts when things aren’t handed to them, or they aren’t given special treatment. Hasn’t happened in all cases, but it has happened.

    Reply
    1. Simple in France

      FB–the sticking point for me money-wise is that after 8 years of primary school, you’ve got nearly enough to pay for 4 years of college tuition. . .that’s a big deal! I think the privileged attitude comes a lot from the parents (I might get flamed here, but I’ll say it anyway). I’ve seen very down to earth kids at private schools and very privileged ones too. But I think it has a lot to do with upbringing. . .

      Reply
      1. Nancy del Valle

        My two children are in private school. The difference may not be in the quality of teachers or education. The difference is the administrators! They DO NOT tolerate any type of physical altercation at all! The admins have a constructive way of teaching “conflict resolution”. Many people tell me that I’m cheating my kids out of a “real life” experience & that I’m sheltering them. Private school is more like real life, how often do you walk down the halls of your office and get shoved by your co-workers?!!! I attended a very strict Catholic school 1st-4th grade, I attended public school thereafter. The kids were undisciplined maniacs. In grade 5 I vowed my kids would not attend public school.

        Reply
    2. lori

      It’s not about the education…public and private schools have the greatest teachers BUT, the public schools are filed with drugs, gangs, violence amd more tolerant of this behavior from kids. Private schools are more disciplined, and as a parent, you don’t have to worry about your child’s safety, which is worth the $$10, ooo yearly tuition!

      Reply
      1. lori

        It’s not about the education…public and private schools have some of the greatest teachers, BUT, the public schools are filled with drugs, gangs, violence and are more tolerant of this kind of behavior from kids. Private schools are more disciplined and will not tolerate these types of behavior. So as a parent, you don’t have to worry about your child’s safety, which is worth the $10,000 yearly tuition. Yes, the amounts can equal a college education, but child experts agree that it’s better to start now, as the public school system needs to be fixed!

        Reply
    3. Annamarie

      Hi Blaine,thank you for your cnmemot.This system is the result of a long evolution and I feel pretty comfortable with it now. If I understand you correct, you mix contexts and lists, which is the cause of your confusion. Seperating personal and work tasks on seperate lists is not a problem I guess, but adding also context information to the list might be one.My biggest problem still is the weekly review. I often miss it due to lack of time or laziness, which always interrupts the flow of doing things.

      Reply
  3. Heather

    It’s worth it for me, but it took awhile to get to that point. We also pay considerably less for our Montessori school. My bill totals not much more than that for 2 kids (and goes up this fall when the 3rd gets enrolled!). Their food allergies are much better managed in a small setting with a teacher who understands their challenges – that was our main motivator.

    And, we sacrifice a lot to pay that bill each month. Because we’ve named it our number one priority. It’s backwards math for a lot people, probably, but there’s nothing we’ll put above it.

    Reply
    1. Simple in France

      Heather–I think you have a good example of a way in which your family is well-served by a private school–and you’ve obviously selected one that’s ideally situated to help out your kids–at a really good price I might add!

      Reply
    2. money funk

      That’s great you make it a priority. I would probably do the same, but our substantial debt keeps us tied down. :(

      I attended private school for two years and LOVED it! Loved it because there was more attention towards us students and it helped us to prosper. I also recieved that attention in public school, but it didn’t come as easily.

      Good for you!

      Reply
  4. Forest

    Awesome post…. I didn’t go to a private school and I feel I came out a lot more street smart for it. My private school friends tended to be a little jaded when it came to getting by in the world…. but they all came out with very good qualifications. I had equal qualifications too (but I left education at 16 as you could in UK back then) but I think they did have better teaching and I had to work harder to get to my level as resources were harder to get outside of private education… If I had kids I don’t know what choice I would make.

    Reply
    1. Simple in France

      Forest–Uh-huh! Private school can leave you sheltered–although I think if I had kids there would be things I’d like to shelter them from! I went to a small private school in a class of 20 kids–the same kids until 8th grade etc. Then I went to a public high school–my graduating class had 500 kids. It was right after the LA riots and there were drugs, gangs, racism and racially motivated brawls after school. There was also a rather large contingent of kids that had been placed in special foster care for sometimes violent crimes etc. It was certainly a learning experience, but I figured it out pretty fast!

      I don’t know too much about the UK schooling system but it sounds like the UK is quite famous for its private grade schools. And it’s interesting to hear that resources were harder to come by in public schools there. Here in France, an average public school and an average private school are similar in quality–unfortunately, some of the worst, most degraded public schools are really sad places. I wouldn’t have a kid in some of them.

      Reply
      1. money funk

        When I switched to private school, I admit the school work was harder on me. I don’t know if it was the content or if I had more… I just remember there was an adjustment to it.

        One thing I remember about private school – I felt safe. We also attended more field trips. I have to think that if you have the money than it could be worth it. Back when I was in 3rd grade it was $5K annually to attend. If I was to send my son to the catholic high school, they asked for $6,500. Definitely a monetary decision to make wisely. But for the benefit of the child, I’d say totally worth it.

        And Forest, my friend did the same in the UK system. Went into a specialized program at 16. Now he is a geophysicist – says its dull, but doesn’t mind the locations he gets to travel around to – Mexico, Thialand, San Francisco, etc… :)

        Reply
      2. Heather

        I have to agree from our experience that private school kids can be more sheltered – but I don’t think that’s a bad thing! We get to skip out on watching them hang out with undesirable friends, wear trashy clothes and take interest in things that are best left for adulthood. Today, when I see the friends our oldest spent time with years ago, I cringe thinking she could be one of them. I don’t feel the least bit guilty for allowing them to shelter her a bit.

        Reply
      3. Forest

        I hear France has a pretty good system as a whole and I would say the UK is ok too but they do lack some funding that obviously private schools do not…. You are right sometimes you don’t want your kids to be too streetwise!!!

        I think the best non-private schools tend to be in the rural areas where there are just simply less people, but then the kids could miss out on integrating with children from other cultures and religions…. I am very thankful of this with my schooling in London.

        Reply
      4. goe

        Today, I think it’s best to keep the kid sheltered! With kids abusing drugs more, teen pregnancy, lack of respect, violence, etc… something needs to be done! Today, kids are not getting an adequate education because their envirnoment is filled with drugs, gangs..etc
        Yes, parent being involved is #1, but the influence of other kids in school, can sometimes dwown out parents guidance and support!

        Reply
  5. money funk

    I had an enjoyable experience in private school and I truly wish I went thru my whole school years in private school. I wish I was able to do the same for my kids.

    How funny, to think when I was younger, I always told myself I would send my kids to school in Europe or UK because there education was much better than here in the States. Our system, in the US, is all back *ss backwards – where schools are the first target of stripping away money due to bad budgeting. What are we teaching our kids? School is not important.

    A child can still gain a very good education in public school with the addition of one of two factors: have them attend a tutor (like Kumon) after school or find the extra time to help them with there school work each and every work day. Attending sports is always an added bonus. I think it gives a child a good foundation for life.

    Here is a link to the list of 40 developmental assests “that help influence choices young people make and help them become caring, responsible adults” Its a pretty neat list. Enjoy.

    Thank you, Trish! Your post is awesome and very thorough in looking at the round about for considering the private school option.

    Reply
  6. Jason @ Redeeming Riches

    Great post – my wife and I have this debate all the time and we each go back and forth! In our experience (both having gone to private schools our whole lives) we feel that they can create sort of a bubble that kids grow up in sometimes to their detriment when they get into the “real world”.

    Reply
    1. Simple in France

      Jason–It’s hard to say whether the bubble is detrimental or not. . .I think some parents manage a bubble without the help of private school also! That said, we’d actually always thought that (being two teachers) we should be able to catch our kids up on any learning gaps ourselves. But then we learned that here in France, middle school and high school students have schedules with odd 2-3 hour ‘holes’ in them during which the kids are allowed to roam free, off campus etc. It’s given us pause. . .not that we have kids, but we’re always thinking ahead ;)

      Reply
      1. money funk

        Wow, a 2-3 hour time to roam free? Can my work do that for me??? :) Is that a kind of Piaget way of thinking (love Piaget learning methods)? And Heather has a great point about the ‘bubble’. Watching my own cousin grow up in the private school environment and continued, I have to agree with Heather’s view. He has nothing but great friends, is an outstanding citizen, and carries himself well. Of course, other factors could play into that ratio, but I think the private school had something to do with it.

        Reply
        1. Simple in France

          Money funk–no, I don’t think it has anything to do with Piaget, but the fact that the French school week has some classes with 3 hours a week, others that meet every day etc. It all depends on what specialization you are in. It reminds me actually of the university system in here in a lot of ways–but I find it rather terrifying to think of adolescents roaming free with nothing to do. Recipe for disaster.

          Reply
    2. goe

      Today…the “real world” is not the best envirnoment for our kids. We need to CHANGE the world. Fix the public school system, so our kids are guaranteed an education, which is the best gift we can give our children.

      Reply
    3. lori

      But Jason… attending school is not the “real” world. In the real world…kids/young adults are going to be dealing with life! School is nothing compared to real life…

      Reply
  7. Maus

    Another factor in deciding to send children to private schools is religion. While not every kid in a Catholic school is Catholic, and not every Catholic kid goes to a Catholic school, many Catholic families support Catholic education because they want their kids to be educated in their faith tradition. That was the case in my family. I imagine the same is true for other religious-affiliated schools.

    Reply
    1. Simple in France

      Maus–we actually had the opposite experience. My parents were quite anti-religion, but they sent my two brothers and I each to a different school with a different religious orientation. I personally learned a lot about Christianity, Judaism and Islam that I would not have known otherwise, and I think it’s helped me to understand the world ever since. I think the idea of a religious school in France is even more compelling since they are very strict on keeping public school ‘secular’–ie no headscarves if you are Muslim. And you would never see the equivalent of a “what would Jesus do?” T-shirt in a public school here.

      Reply
  8. Clisby

    It so depends on the school. My daughter was in a private school in Atlanta from K-3 because I don’t care for traditional age-segregated schools. Hers was not a Montessori school, but it had multi-age classes and was wonderful. If we had stayed in Atlanta, she’d be finishing 8th grade there. When we moved to Charleston, we pretty quickly found that if you wanted a non-traditional school, Montessori was all that was available. She’s spent the past 5 years in a public Montessori school, and it’s been great for her. My 8-year-old went to a private Montessori school through kindergarten, and now is at the same public school as his sister. If we hadn’t been able to find a public Montessori program, then yes – we’d have been willing to pay for private school.

    Reply
      1. Olivia

        Checking out the “new” blogs. Cool! I just loved your cnmemots on Elder Ballard’s talk, I share them as well! This talk was right up my alley; I needed to hear this, and I am so glad you blogged about it to remind us about mothers and what we can do to be in balance. After focusing in on my brood these last couple months, making more time to just be us without over scheduling (as I have in the past), and focusing on one or two things I could do while at home (gardening, playing an instrument), I feel so much better about being a mom. I was semi-enjoying being Mom, but I feel much more peace, and it came from doing a lot of what Elder Ballard talked about in the article, I am just realizing. Hey, this is one of the only times I can wear pj’s all day and not worry about deadlines and have fun with my little, funny toddlers. That’s great for now! Thanks for sharing, Jamie!!

        Reply
  9. Funny about Money

    Gosh…where can you send your kid that’s only $8000 a year? The school where my son went is now up to $12,740 for pre-kindergarten and $15,100 for K-8. Textbooks and school supplies are included. In 2009/10, the school has 500 kids, with a teacher/student ratio of 9 to 1. Since Arizona is predicting 50 to 60 kids in public grade-school classrooms if the sale tax initiative doesn’t pass (it’s up to 30 to 40 now), I expect anyone who can afford it or who can get scholarship help will put their kids in private school here.

    I don’t know what the situation is now, but when our son was in the school, it did not accept children with psychological or special-needs problems (unless the parents had plenty of money or social cachet…), because they had no staff dealed to train with those issues.

    There’s another issue you don’t mention here: future social and business contacts. Students who attend private schools fall into two categories: 1) children of people who CARE about their kids’ education and who are likely to see the kids through top-rated public universities or through private colleges; and 2) scions of elite families who, through their parents’ connections and wealth, will go to elite schools. Members of both these groups will end up in influential positions in business and government. You go to private school largely to develop connections–while the academics are expected to be better than what you’d get in public schools, academics are really beside the point. The friends you make in private school help open the doors to jobs and many other kinds of opportunities.

    Where academics are concerned: So few parents in Arizona can afford to send their kids to private or even parochial schools (it’s a right-to-work state and so wages are very low) that many who are concerned about their children’s learning and safety have a parent take off work and home-school the kids. Education has historically been neglected here, and so few public schools (mostly in high-income neighborhoods) are even vaguely adequate. Thus you see a lot of working-class and middle-class parents who have no religious or political agenda sacrificing one salary to teach their kids at home. This strategy can provide much better academic training while keeping your child out of a dangerous environment, but it defeats the true purpose of private education.

    Reply
    1. FinEngr

      Having attended private school from K-8, I can agree with the “future social and business contacts” but honestly feel its irrelevant when it comes to grade school.

      More importantly, it seems to be about developing connections within college – since that is immediately prior to entering the job market. Additionally, simply attending these schools doesn’t automatically translate into success -everything is still performance based.

      Reply
    2. Simple in France

      Funny, I had no idea that AZ was planning on such big class sizes. But then, I’m no longer abreast of exactly how big the sizes were gearing up to be in CA when I got out. Anything over 40 and you have to run the class with an iron fist–it’s just not fair to the kids.

      As for the prices–I know! I was surprised by how low the average was. The school I attended as a child now costs $15,000 a year!!! This is unreal to me. It makes it worth it to home school if you have more than one child, doesn’t it?

      I am still mulling over your comment about the connections between students at private schools. At first, I wanted to deny that and agree with FinEngr that primary school contacts aren’t as important as later ones. . .But thinking about it: 1) I did keep in touch with many of my ‘contacts’ from my private school–including people from the school itself. When we have the potential to help each other out, we do. I was recently distributing business cards for a friend that started her own law-firm . . . Crazy!

      Reply
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  11. Craig/FFB

    We’re going to be spending about that but it will be for taxes that go to the public school.

    I guess it really depends on where you are. In some areas you really need a private school but in others the public school is more than adequate. It also depends on the child too. I had about the best you can get in a NYC public school education. Look at me, I came out fine (making strange looking face).

    Reply
    1. Simple in France

      Craig–the last time I checked, per child cost for a year of public education nationally is closer to an average of 11k-although in California it is closer to what you mention (but still higher). Or is 8k how much you personally pay in taxes for education?

      The thing is, when you pay for private school, you still pay your taxes for public school–just the way you still pay such taxes when you don’t have children. . .

      And yes, I think you certainly can come out fine after public school (or not fine after private school!). There are no guarantees either way. But depending on how bad it is, I can see some reasons to go private.

      Reply
  12. Len Penzo

    I think private school is a colossal waste of money. Like Fabulously Broke, I am a firm believer that a child’s success in grade school is largely a function of their personality and willingness to learn. Those that have the hunger to learn and thirst for knowledge will excel, regardless of the environment.

    For those who choose private schools strictly to get a lower student-teacher ratio, they would be much better served financially by going to a public school and getting a tutor.

    My $0.02

    All the best,

    Len
    Len Penzo dot Com

    Reply
    1. Simple in France

      Len Penzo–that’s essentially what my husband and I imagine we will do with our own children–but we’ll do the tutoring ourselves.

      I think tutoring can be very important depending on the school a child attends. Some public schools are excellent in terms of curriculum covered and pace–however I’ve seen others where the kids in a given class learn less because the majority of students would be lost if the classes were taught at a normal pace. Here in France, my husband has come across elementary school classes that are about 2 years behind where they should be–and they’re moving at a snail’s pace. These are extreme cases, but I’d definitely pull my child out of a school like that if I could.

      Reply
      1. lori

        true..but what about the atmosphere? Dealing with the public vs. private?
        I believe yo can achieve a great education from the public schools but the kids today…more interested in drugs, alcohol, parties etc… not to say it’s not happening on the private system, but I think there is less influence?

        Reply
    2. Roshawn @ Watson Inc

      I didn’t even think of the tutor option. That’s a great idea and only a fraction of the price. I agree with @Simple in France that it is more about the parents than the students in many cases. I don’t have a problem if parents want their kids educated in a particular faith as @Maus pointed out. However, if the public schools near you are really that bad, then move to a better school district. It’s a lot cheaper and your kids can still have a great education. Of course, this is all a mute point if one TRULY can afford private school IMHO

      Reply
      1. Kris

        I posted my whole story further down but just wanted to make a couple of points. An education is not all about what school district you are in. Some kids can adapt just fine to the large classroom sizes and thrive. Others do better in a smaller setting. Many districts in our area are losing sports/arts programs because of the financial situation. Private schools are still keeping most of their programs, which makes them attractive to many.

        We can afford private school, but only because it is our priority. We don’t suffer by any means, but we also don’t have fancy cars or a lake house. What works for one may not work for another. Trust me, this is not about my husband and I wanting a fancy private school education for my kids. That is the last thing I had planned. However, I just felt that our public school let us down.

        Reply
        1. Money Funk

          Our school district falls into losing many programs that I was fortunate to attend in my day and age. So now, if your kids attend public school, more of the responsibility falls onto the parent with making sure the child gets extra attention with after school work (because school ratios are so high now – daughter’s class is 1:30) and sports/art programs after school/weekends. Which makes it difficult because there is only so much time in the day and the child only holds so much attention for school.

          To me, attending private school is not for the fanciness, but because you want the best for your child. If you can afford it, then by all means I believe it is worth it because of the small class ratios (definitely) and they do have more educational resources at hand. I would definitely put my children in private school if it was an option.

          Reply
          1. Raxit

            Dear Ravindra,Thanks very much for your eoniapatlxn. Good luck with your efforts! Let me check out your blog in more detail- might get back to you on that. -Aniket

    3. tom

      I would agree with you…20 years ago! Public schools now need to be fixed. Our children are not getting the proper education because their environment in public school is filled with bullies, violence, gangs, teen pregnancy, etc. Times have changed, and I feel the public school system has failed our kids.

      Reply
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  15. Little House

    What a great topic and well explained. I’m currently a substitute teacher working full time in a public school classroom (I’m working toward my credential) and class size is a number one problem in public schools. Because they are dependent on tax money from the state, class size often is increased due to lack of funds. Children suffer the brunt of this negative effect. Smaller class size has been proven to increase children’s performance (of course this is also dependent on a well-qualified teacher).

    As for private schools, I don’t know much about them regarding academics. I’m sure some are better than others, but investigating their curriculum, class size, and teacher qualifications would be a must for any parent considering this as an option.

    Reply
  16. James

    You make some great points here. The main thing i would be concerned with would be the student to teacher ratio. having the ability to have class sizes from 10 to 15 could really mean a lot to the performance of the students achievement.

    Also the skill sets of the other students have a good student to teacher ratio is good but have other smart kids will only increase the competition and help your child excel.

    Reply
  17. Kris

    I have 3 kids, all in private school. I understand both sides of the coin. We did not intend on sending our kids to private school. We actually moved to one of the best school districts in the state with full intention of sending our kids there.

    However, for reasons I will not go into here (my kids do not have any emotional problems or learning disabilities) and the fact that the school we chose had a 8:1 teacher/student ratio, private school seemed to be the best option for us.

    All 3 of my kids have thrived. It has been the perfect environment, especially 2 of them that I feel would have gotten lost in the public school system as they are quite introverted. Will they be sheltered when they get older? Who knows, but at least they will be older and have the maturity (hopefully) to deal with it.

    Private school is very expensive (ours is much more than 8k a year) and a very personal decision. I hate even talking about it because so many people assume you are doing it for the wrong reasons. We are snooty, as a matter of fact, I grew up with not much at all. But, I only have kids once and I wanted to give them the best I could, given their personalities. Public school is great for many. I was in one of the worst school districts in the state I grew up in and I turned out just fine. It is just a decision that needs to be made based on each individual.

    Reply
  18. Carol Schultz-Weil

    I had the opportunity to attend a Christian private school for one year of my life and it was extremely important. Had I had the opportunity to attend longer it may have made a significant difference in my choices in the following years. I believe that a Christian education should be one of our top priorites for our children. My son was also able to attend for one year due to a generous scholarship he received. I know that he too thought it was a valuable experience.

    Reply
    1. Forest

      Hey Carol, I don’t mean this disrespectfully but I don’t believe an education with a forced religious back bone should be priority for a nation as a whole. Sure it could be a personal choice to send children to a religious based school but the teaches of Christ, Buddha, Muhammad or whoever you choose. A very high quality education should be priority for our children and I believe this can be achieved as a whole without the introduction of religion :).

      Reply
      1. lori

        years ago…God was in the schools…but slowly He has been pushed out, maybe Carol has a point? Bring religion back… today, we see the results without religion/prayer in our schools–children that have no respect or discipline!

        Reply
        1. Money Funk

          I kind of think spanking needs to be brought back in (for some cases), too! You can’t even discipline your child for the fear of being turned in.

          Reply
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  21. Andy Wilmot

    My parents wasted $88 OOO sending me to an exclusive private school . I bombed out and went straight onto the unemployment heap , all schools are for is obedience training and measuring you for univirsity entrance ………. What a shame I was not hit by a car or drowned at three years of age ………. I am a failure my parents and the school I went to are to blame .

    Reply
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  23. Mneiae

    I went to public school for K-8 and a Catholic-Interfaith private school for high school. I would put my kid through the same thing. My bubble burst, when I went from going to public school, which was cliquey, to a private school, which was much smaller. Then it was destroyed again after I went to a huge state university. It’s a good thing to gain new perspectives and you do pave the way for future business contacts.

    As far as tutoring in special subjects goes: a) let the kids decide what they’re interested in and b) do NOT do it yourselves. I know that a lot of people homeschool [and I understand that this is NOT the equivalent of homeschooling] and when homeschooling, there is a lot of tension that arises when your parent/educator role conflicts. Trade tutoring with someone else. Barter. Tutoring doesn’t have to be expensive, but don’t let it tangle up your family relationships.

    Reply
  24. Penny Simmons

    It was a choice I felt we had to make, after living in HI for a year. We left So CA and had a gate student (gifted and talentanted) . Public schools in HI are ranked 50th, so private was the only option at about 1.000.00 a month. This school was the middle priced school and promised that he would beable to transition back to the public sector upon returing to the main land. We are firm in our beliefs that their are great public schools and wonderful teachers so it was very sad to me that private was the only option for us. When we got home to the main land my poor son was almost a whole year behind. A whole year behind, we decided to place him in a Christian private school and if it had not been for the effort of his Christian teacher I think he would have been held back for a year. It has been worth every penny for his private school he has 3 yrs and is now a Freshman at a Christian Private school. I dont think reliegon should be forced on anyone but I know that these kids are respectful of adults and are polite and much more helpful to one another. I think the best school for any child is a school that teaches and promotes the same core values (hard work respect for each other open exchange of ideas and so forth) as the parents, our children spend more time with the staff at their school than with us especially when they start Jr. High. I am a stay at home mom and it is a financial hardship but we only get a short time to mold a young person, and when you have the whole school staff that knows your name and want the same things you do for your childs success it helps your child build more than just contacts and he gets more than just a expensive education he gets a whole family that will be in his corner for the rest of his life and that my fellow parents is worth more any monitary hardship we have suffered. It takes a village…

    Reply
    1. Money Funk Post author

      I’m with you, Penny. I think Christian private schools are wonderful, whether the religion plays a part or not. And I do think that is one of the benefits to paying for private school – is that the class sizes are smaller and more attention is paid towards each child. I could be wrong, but my personal private school experience was a rewarding one. Its too bad the financial hardships caused my leave from there.
      And it would have been great if I could have sent my own kids to a private school, but alas… the costs are an issue.
      I am glad to hear your son has built a rewarding education with the private school option.

      Reply
    1. Money Funk

      Thank you, Nancy. I love a good documentary. Especially if it has something important to do with our education systems.
      Much like Jamie Oliver is doing with his Food Revolution. Inspiring.

      Reply
  25. Hayley

    I work at a very exclusive private school and cannot justify the cost. Yes, some of the classes are smaller (not all of them though). The teachers are the same as you would get at a public school (I’m one of 3 with a Master’s Degree).
    We have the same amount of resources as a government school. OK our grounds are well manicured, we have a pool and a theatre (sound glamorous but lets face it most Aussies have a pool and the children are tortured by drama/ dance teachers for our annual performance). They don’t enjoy the performance at all.

    What parents might not know is that if the school is sued (likely when a significant amount of our parent body are lawyers!) it is actually the parents’ fees which are used!!! So your money is not always going towards your kids’ education!

    Parents are pretentious – I’ve had complaints that you wouldn’t believe. The pressure on kids to compete is ridiculous. They HAVE to take part in Drama/ Music/ Camps/ Swimming even if it is not their forte (I’m all for encouraging but not forcing).

    Our results look good because children can’t take exams if they will not do well.

    The children are very spoilt. They know that all the need to do is cry/ complain to mum or dad and they’ll sort it all out for them.

    The most beautiful children who I’ve taught are from public schools. I also acknowledge the low status schools and their problems. If you get a nice middle class public school – you will save a lot of money.

    Exclusive private schools are all show.

    Reply
  26. Andy W

    Sending kids to good private schools does not prevent them from bombing out and going straight onto unemployment . Good paranting is important as well ……… I am a failure …… Fuck the government , Fuck my parents and fuck Ballarat Grammar School .

    Reply
  27. Trident University

    I don’t want kids so my opinion probably doesn’t count for much. Personally, I don’t think being sheltered is a good thing. It’s important to have a realistic view of how life is like in the real world; yes ugly things exist in life; there is racism, poverty and much more. Eventually it;s up to the kid. A private school isn’t going to help a kid who isn’t willing to learn. If you live in a city with a great school district then private school is a moot point. I know plenty of people who went to public schools and went on to Ivy League schools such as Harvard and Stanford.

    Reply

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