Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

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rolandtorres
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by rolandtorres »

To all the posters saying OP is rich and doesn't know it- I am guessing you aren't familiar with Silicon Valley standard of living where dual income of $500K isn't exceptional. Post tax that is $300K, or $25K/mo. Median rent for a 4br in San Mateo county is $5500/mo according to Trulia which means more than 25% is going there. As wealthfront says, you need equity to buy here.

It is a ripoff but to the extent your kids are the average of their 3 closest friends you want your kid to rub shoulders with the most well rounded and ambitious and accomplished kids around. Chances are higher can find that at a good private.
sawhorse
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by sawhorse »

rolandtorres wrote:To all the posters saying OP is rich and doesn't know it- I am guessing you aren't familiar with Silicon Valley standard of living where dual income of $500K isn't exceptional. Post tax that is $300K, or $25K/mo. Median rent for a 4br in San Mateo county is $5500/mo according to Trulia which means more than 25% is going there. As wealthfront says, you need equity to buy here.
Your post is so out of touch that it's insulting and offensive. Do you never interact with restaurant employees, store employees, employees at your own workplace, teachers, etc?

There is nowhere in the country, nowhere in the world, that $500-600k is not extremely high.

Let's look at San Mateo County since that's the one you mention.

In the latest figures, median household income in San Mateo County was $88,122. For households headed by someone age 45-64, which I'm guessing is the OP's age range, it was $100,826.

In other words it takes the OP about 67 days to earn as much as the annual median for that age range in that county. Yes I know the tax brackets are different, so let's look at that. It takes the OP about 107 days to make after tax what the median household of that age range makes in a year before tax.

This means that by mid-April, the OP has already earned post-tax what the median household in one of the highest income counties earns before tax on December 31.

25% of post tax income on rent is nothing especially if it's a 4br rental. That's a downright bargain. The average in New York City this year was 65.2% of income on rent, and I guarantee that almost no one was in a 4br.

I strongly lean toward sending the kids to public school because then at least they'll have some chance of realizing what their parents don't.

I don't say that flippantly. If the children are sheltered in an environment where literally everyone around them either can afford to spend $43k per kid for tuition or can't afford to but do it anyway; plus have parents who don't make them realize how extremely fortunate they are financially, their perspective of the world is warped and they don't grow up appreciating and being thankful for their financial situation. This can have repercussions down the road that are worse than you might expect.
pascal
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by pascal »

rolandtorres wrote:To all the posters saying OP is rich and doesn't know it- I am guessing you aren't familiar with Silicon Valley standard of living where dual income of $500K isn't exceptional. Post tax that is $300K, or $25K/mo. Median rent for a 4br in San Mateo county is $5500/mo according to Trulia which means more than 25% is going there. As wealthfront says, you need equity to buy here.

It is a ripoff but to the extent your kids are the average of their 3 closest friends you want your kid to rub shoulders with the most well rounded and ambitious and accomplished kids around. Chances are higher can find that at a good private.
I live in the Silicon Valley and your post is most curious. $250k-$300k salary by 1 person takes significant effort in terms of dedication and time spent at work. Or the person just got really lucky at an early stage startup. For both of them to be in that group, it is exceptional - there is certain amount of time and effort necessary for rearing children.

$5500/mo is either paid by exceptional people indeed or in vast multitude of cases by groups of single people sharing the townhome/home. This - I've seen almost everywhere in the bay. This was eventually what forced us to buy a house rather than compete with single people living together.
"Never underestimate the ability of a bad situation to get worse...rapidly." Ninegrams
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SamGamgee
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by SamGamgee »

mmrs wrote:I am raising two kids in SF bay area, 6th and 4th, ... fluent in several languages ....
Not two. Several. Not conversational. Fluent. at 4th and 6th grade?

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randomguy
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by randomguy »

rolandtorres wrote:To all the posters saying OP is rich and doesn't know it- I am guessing you aren't familiar with Silicon Valley standard of living where dual income of $500K isn't exceptional. Post tax that is $300K, or $25K/mo. Median rent for a 4br in San Mateo county is $5500/mo according to Trulia which means more than 25% is going there. As wealthfront says, you need equity to buy here.

It is a ripoff but to the extent your kids are the average of their 3 closest friends you want your kid to rub shoulders with the most well rounded and ambitious and accomplished kids around. Chances are higher can find that at a good private.
That is like saying a person with a billion dollars isn't rich when they sit down for lunch with Bill Gates, Larry Page, and Warren Buffet because they have 2% of the net worth of those individuals.:) In the end we are going to debate what the difference between upper middle class, rich, and filthy rich is.:) At 600k you can afford just about anything. You can't afford everything though. If they want to, they can spend 100k+ on eduction. But they might prefer to spend it elsewhere. I can also say I have never heard/read any article where someone who makes 300k+ doesn't come across as clueless when they complain about money.

I am confidant that in general those private schools give a better education. But you are off in the marginally better land. If I wouldn't notice 50k/year I would send my kids. If 50k/year results in me working another 10 years, I would go the public route.
Exterous
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by Exterous »

afan wrote:
Exterous wrote: private schools may have much smaller class sizes they can also have much smaller student populations. This can make student activities challenging. Sports programs can suffer from a lack of participants....
This varies widely by the school. Some are small and have exactly this problem. Others are large enough, or have deep enough pockets to have lots of resources.
Of course - hence the "may" and "can" part of my post.
HomerJ wrote:
sambb wrote:I always find this interesting.

If you can afford to send your kids to private school, and you both went to top colleges, then public school was obviously pretty good.

The OP and her husband make $500k-$600k a year, and are public school graduates. Yet they apparently think the outcome of $500k-$600k incomes is not good enough, so they should send their kids to private school.

I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry.
Well the public school in the current area(s) may not be the same as the one they graduated from. Perhaps their success was largely unrelated to the public school but more related to a twist of fate or alternative outside influence. Or perhaps there were certain obstacles that they were able to overcome that they would prefer their child not have to deal with. For example I met a young woman while my wife was teaching in the inner city school who was attached and stabbed several times putting her in the hospital for over a week. The school was 'good enough' that she became a doctor and makes a great living but that does not mean that she would want her kids to go to a public school in the same area. An extreme example to be sure but just because a school or certain type of school worked for a specific instance that doesn't mean its the best fit for a different set of circumstances.
Engineer250
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by Engineer250 »

sawhorse wrote:
rolandtorres wrote:To all the posters saying OP is rich and doesn't know it- I am guessing you aren't familiar with Silicon Valley standard of living where dual income of $500K isn't exceptional. Post tax that is $300K, or $25K/mo. Median rent for a 4br in San Mateo county is $5500/mo according to Trulia which means more than 25% is going there. As wealthfront says, you need equity to buy here.
Your post is so out of touch that it's insulting and offensive. Do you never interact with restaurant employees, store employees, employees at your own workplace, teachers, etc?

There is nowhere in the country, nowhere in the world, that $500-600k is not extremely high.

Let's look at San Mateo County since that's the one you mention.

In the latest figures, median household income in San Mateo County was $88,122. For households headed by someone age 45-64, which I'm guessing is the OP's age range, it was $100,826.

In other words it takes the OP about 67 days to earn as much as the annual median for that age range in that county. Yes I know the tax brackets are different, so let's look at that. It takes the OP about 107 days to make after tax what the median household of that age range makes in a year before tax.

This means that by mid-April, the OP has already earned post-tax what the median household in one of the highest income counties earns before tax on December 31.

25% of post tax income on rent is nothing especially if it's a 4br rental. That's a downright bargain. The average in New York City this year was 65.2% of income on rent, and I guarantee that almost no one was in a 4br.

I strongly lean toward sending the kids to public school because then at least they'll have some chance of realizing what their parents don't.

I don't say that flippantly. If the children are sheltered in an environment where literally everyone around them either can afford to spend $43k per kid for tuition or can't afford to but do it anyway; plus have parents who don't make them realize how extremely fortunate they are financially, their perspective of the world is warped and they don't grow up appreciating and being thankful for their financial situation. This can have repercussions down the road that are worse than you might expect.
Have to agree with this wholeheartedly. While it's true median housing prices tend to be inflated more than income in HCOL areas, no one seems to consider what that means for the average person there. I make about 1.5 time the median income for my county. I live on the edge of the county in a very small and old house. If I spent all my time at my last job comparing (people with European vacations and 2nd homes) I'd wonder why I was falling so far behind. Luckily I have friends I didn't meet through work. Friends who had to 'retire' in their 50s thanks to the great recession that are trying to make social security and something like $250k in retirement savings last the rest of their life. Other friends that make $13/hour being a lead at their workplace and probably can't expect major career advancement. The latter of these friends will probably never be able to afford a house for the rest of their lives. It makes me thankful for my small and old house, and appreciate the luxuries I have that they don't. Recommend OP try to make some real friends, or reconnect with old ones, who are 'getting by' on far less. It will make them more thankful (in a good way, we all need to be reminded, I am not trying to be snarky honest).

Also agree public school for kids from such a well off background might be more beneficial. On the one hand, if your kids are really already so brilliant, they stand better chances at things like valedictorian. Sometimes it means more to colleges to be a standout in your high school than it does to be "smarter" from a "more prestigious" high school. A lot of kids I know who went to private schools were kicked out of their public schools so while I don't know real stats, it does not necessarily mean the kids in private will be smarter and harder working. And lastly, long term success does not come from how successful we were in high school, or even college. Being a millennial watching the world change, I know plenty of people who did VERY WELL in high school and VERY WELL in college, and who are very smart/intelligent, just can't get good jobs or can't get on their own two feet in today's world. Luck and connections seem to be huge impact. Mom & Dad's career connections, not having student loan debt and being able to not have to work in college and possibly go on to a master's if need be, will be a much bigger leg up in the world than public vs private.
Where the tides of fortune take us, no man can know.
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mmrs
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by mmrs »

Just curious from looking at your past posts....do you donate the thousand dollar plus per kid that the public school foundation asks? 3k donation per year donation is cheaper than 80k/year private tuition. Lot cheaper than private schools.
When I wrote the last post about school donation last year, we were still in the fellowship/internship.
We came from abroad, and we had a debt(all cleared now),and our income was about 150K at that time, I think.

Of course, I am sure 150K is still a big income for lot of people, but living in the peninsula bay area with two kids at that time, we felt $3500 school donation was a lot burden. We have just got a big raise with nice incentive, we've just started to get this level of income this year.

Well, I admit 500K annual income is a lot,and you can call me I am a super rich (Yay! but I still feel, I am not, yet.).
But no one guarantee that level of income will last forever, we have higher level of stress and we need to prepare for the worst.

We may be able to afford lots of luxury with this income level,but the thing is, we are not interested in luxury at all.
we don't shop for clothes,I am not interested in luxury car.
Simply we don't want to spend our money on what I don't admit its value.

Research is still on going, but as of now, we are likely to stay in public school system.
After all, I found lots of people in the area say they are satisfied with their public high school.
I was worried about the highly stressed environment, but that's almost everywhere.
Most of all, my kids says they like their friends and their friends are also likely to stay in public school.Well, for kids, friends are all what they care about.

Oh, by the way, I also would like to correct, that my kids are " Fluent" in several languages at their age level, fluent in conversation.I didn't mean more than that! They just speak our mother languages plus English, that's all. Don't worry, they are damn normal kids. :happy
Last edited by mmrs on Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

rolandtorres wrote:To all the posters saying OP is rich and doesn't know it- I am guessing you aren't familiar with Silicon Valley standard of living where dual income of $500K isn't exceptional. Post tax that is $300K, or $25K/mo. Median rent for a 4br in San Mateo county is $5500/mo according to Trulia which means more than 25% is going there. As wealthfront says, you need equity to buy here.
It's still exceptional, just not as exceptional. In the U.S. as a whole, income above $500k puts a person in the top 1-2%. In the Bay Area, they'd still be in the top 5%. Not as great, of course, but not exactly middle-class either. I work in Silicon Valley and wife and I have a combined income of $140k. We find this to be sufficient income to maintain our very comfortable lifestyle as we're able to buy just about anything we want and still save a good percentage.
inbox788
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by inbox788 »

sawhorse wrote:
rolandtorres wrote:To all the posters saying OP is rich and doesn't know it- I am guessing you aren't familiar with Silicon Valley standard of living where dual income of $500K isn't exceptional. Post tax that is $300K, or $25K/mo. Median rent for a 4br in San Mateo county is $5500/mo according to Trulia which means more than 25% is going there. As wealthfront says, you need equity to buy here.
...
In other words it takes the OP about 67 days to earn as much as the annual median for that age range in that county. Yes I know the tax brackets are different, so let's look at that. It takes the OP about 107 days to make after tax what the median household of that age range makes in a year before tax.

This means that by mid-April, the OP has already earned post-tax what the median household in one of the highest income counties earns before tax on December 31.

I don't say that flippantly. If the children are sheltered in an environment where literally everyone around them either can afford to spend $43k per kid for tuition or can't afford to but do it anyway; plus have parents who don't make them realize how extremely fortunate they are financially, their perspective of the world is warped and they don't grow up appreciating and being thankful for their financial situation. This can have repercussions down the road that are worse than you might expect.
1) OP doesn't claim he isn't rich, just not super rich.
2) OP is income rich, likely asset poor. He may still have 6 figure student loans or negative net worth.
3) He lives in a high cost of living area, so despite having more income and wealth, purchasing power is relatively lower.
4) There's a difference between dual income vs single income, and I'm guessing OP is dual income. Also, hours worked may be a factor. Many high paying jobs require immense hours or are high stress. Some are have short or limited career lifetime.
5) Tax freedom day is April 24 this year.
http://taxfoundation.org/article/tax-fr ... 6-april-24
Feb. 22 for $50k income, April 22 for $500k income according to this calculator:
https://www.calcxml.com/do/tax-freedom-day
6) Rich people have rich people problems. One of which is being discussed here. Another is choosing between say an Aston Martin Vanquish vs Lamborghini Aventador, but your real dream car is a LaFerrari Aperta. Making such a decision may be just as difficult as an average joe trying to decide between a Honda Accord vs. Toyota Camry and really dreaming about a Mercedes S550. To achieve the dream car, both have to work more and harder. (the super rich just buy them all)
7) Some (few) people face the opposite choice trying to decide not to send their kids to private school:
Who sent their kids to public school? Sanders' kids went to public school. So did Chelsea Clinton, when her dad Bill was governor of Arkansas, but the family opted for the private Sidwell Friends School when her father became president. The Clintons caught some flak at the time for making the switch. They said security and privacy concerns factored into the decision. (The Obamas sent their daughters to Sidwell Friends, too.)
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign ... didat.html
When President Jimmy Carter assumed office in 1977, he did something remarkable: He enrolled his 9-year-old daughter, Amy, in a predominantly black Washington, D.C., public school.
http://www.theatlantic.com/education/ar ... ox/495227/
8) FWIW, if I were in that situation, I'd only consider top schools (and most would not be in the area), and some of those schools are highly competitive, so more than likely most applicants would not get in. Your public school is likely better than 90% of the private schools.
http://www.privateschoolreview.com/acce ... ional-data

FYI,
https://www.menloschool.org/about/colle ... tances.php
https://www.harker.org/upper-school/sup ... cceptances
http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/ ... -sort.html (3 of 4 schools mentioned were on this list in 2007, is there something more up to date?)
Incendiary
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by Incendiary »

staythecourse wrote:
staustin wrote:My wife and I both are public school graduates. Our oldest child attended the local (well regarded) public school. That experience caused us to place our two younger children in private school. My eldest sons incoming freshman class exceeded 1000 students. Most classes were 25 to 30 students each. Sadly, the culture at this particular school is that 'smart equals nerd', my childs teacher was overwhelmed with the number of kids and never was able to have much personal interaction. whereas at my younger childrens current private school, incoming classes total 80. The max class size is 15 students. My childs chemistry teacher has a phd, their math teacher a former engineer, their spanish teacher is a spanish national, etc. Both of them spent a month in a foreign country last year on a school sponsored exchange trip. The culture is exactly the opposite "it's cool to be smart" and the differences between the schools quite large and noticeable. The public school engages quite a bit of energy in crowd control. They do a fine job educating a large amount of kids. But, most of the time the teaching style is memorization and multiple choice tests; whereas there is never a multiple choice test at my childs private school. Private schools, in my view, encourage critical thinking. Simply my opinion (having come from public schools myself). It's not an easy thing to pay 40 plus a year in private school tuition but for us it was not really a financial decision primarily. Our children are our highest priority.

In some ways, i'm a massive hypocrite. I absolutely detest the separation / exclusion of private schools. But, they are my children. I wish for a meritocracy but........
Now the million (maybe millon + ) question is will it matter in the end?

These type of discussions ALWAYS come out with too much anectocdal/ empirical statements. This is a surprise as this board woud destroy someone for coming on here and saying, "I'm an active investor and made millions". The reaction would be, "What does the data say on active management vs. passive to support using active management". Yet when it comes to private school and colleges almost NO ONE uses objective data to support their point of view. Maybe that is because the data does not support it.

In my opinion, your kids will likely do well NO MATTER what as they have the same set of parents, expectations at home, and finances to support there future endeavor.

Good luck.
I read this and thought you were plagiarizing my post from the other thread about colleges. Then I looked at the time stamp and saw that it would have meant I had been plagiarizing you. What can I say other than great minds think alike? :sharebeer
CanadianAviator
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by CanadianAviator »

My experiences may be different, since I graduated from a Canadian private high school from Vancouver, BC, but if my household income is in the 500k+ range, I would go for it, and for the following reasons.

1) Opportunities
I definitely felt that the 5 years of high school I spent at the private school provided me more opportunities than my peers in public schools. This is especially important if your children are overachievers with top notch grades, and want to go to top ivy league schools. For one, our school offered over 40 AP classes (even odds ones like Latin, German, and World History) vs most great top 5 public schools in the city offering only Calc AP (and only AB, not BC), Chemistry, and maybe English Lit. Because of the abundance of these AP classes (some with only 3 students in a class - most public schools can't afford to open classes with less than 10+ students), I was able to rack up 12-13 classes by senior year. This definitely gave me a huge leg up in the admissions process, and saved me 2 years of college tuition due to the 40+ credits applied to my major upon freshman year, allowing me to graduate early. Kids that are not academic wiz also benefited by the diverse courses offered such as drama and woodworking. There's a club from model UN, anime, and stock trading. You can apply to open a club and secure funding with a business plan. There's a stage for everyone. I also never felt like I didn't fit in because I was more brains than athletic.

2) Networking
Most of the friends from high school came from wealthy families, who push their kids hard to get into ivy league schools, so the competition is definitely more intense than most public schools. As a result, by 9th grade students were already talking about what their SAT scores are, how many APs they are taking, whether they want to go pre-med/engineering. It's a privileged small bubble that some would view as a negative thing, but I felt it motivated me more and allowed me to focus on what I wanted to do and not be distracted by peer pressure or feeling that I didn't fit in. Instead of choosing to go to the local public university (where most students could easily get into), we're more motivated to apply abroad/secure scholarship. (30% of the grads in my class went to American universities, while 15% went to the UK- mainly for their 5 year med school program, and the rest stayed in Canada, with a total graduation rate of 99%+) It also doesn't hurt to have connections with people that are mostly now in 'money-oriented' careers - investment banking, consulting, entrepreneurship.

Is it worth the price in the long run in the monetary sense? Probably not. Does it give your children a better chance at succeeding? Possibly. If I could easily pay for it without risking my retirement, I would.
daveydoo
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by daveydoo »

mmrs wrote:
Well, I admit 500K annual income is a lot,and you can call me I am a super rich (Yay! but I still feel, I am not, yet.).
But no one guarantee that level of income will last forever, we have higher level of stress and we need to prepare for the worst.
I think you might want to get out a little more. I'm impressed by folks who, by virtue of their chosen profession and zip code, never encounter anyone in need. Their neighbors are rich, their co-workers are rich, their clients are rich. They start to think that's the world. I guess I'm fortunate to work in a field where I see struggling folks every single day, and it helps me appreciate what I have. Feeling "stressed" on only $500K annual income...seriously? Because it might not last forever? People who make a lot less than you have to manage that insecurity, too. And with much higher stakes.

Your housing is expensive -- I get it! Your food is maybe 20% more than mine. Your cars and gas and utilities (and...and...and) are the same as the rest of ours. And everything else you can just buy online. If you have a million-dollar home and pine for a ten-million-dollar home like your neighbors, that doesn't mean you're not rich. Oh, and you can take your money and leave -- unlike actual not-rich folks. Or people who really are stressed about money.
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"
sawhorse
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by sawhorse »

daveydoo wrote:I'm impressed by folks who, by virtue of their chosen profession and zip code, never encounter anyone in need. Their neighbors are rich, their co-workers are rich, their clients are rich. They start to think that's the world. I guess I'm fortunate to work in a field where I see struggling folks every single day, and it helps me appreciate what I have.
I think the people you speak about also see people who are really financially struggling though obviously not as often as someone who lives in a poorer neighborhood would. They too encounter restaurant workers, retail workers, lower salary employees at their place of work, etc. Many of them have household help.

I think the subset of wealthy people you speak of physically see people who are clearly less well off financially without realizing those people are there, if you know what I mean. The same can be said for other "other" groups. Visibly disabled people, for example, suffer the cruel paradox of being stared at yet figuratively invisible to society.

For what it's worth, there are people on the other end of the wealth spectrum, who are not well off financially, that likewise don't acknowledge their financial reality. This often leads to massive debt and a personal finance situation that they later regret.

The OP's children are too young to work currently. In a few years, it would probably do them well to work for a summer in a physically difficult low wage job.

That's a form of education too.
physiorol
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by physiorol »

mmrs wrote: Public high school in our area is OK. Elementary and middle school is great.
I did not read all the other answers but this combination excellent is a really good combination in my opinion. A bit less pressure in high school but a good chance to easily stand out to the colleges.
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HomerJ
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by HomerJ »

mmrs wrote:Well, I admit 500K annual income is a lot,and you can call me I am a super rich (Yay! but I still feel, I am not, yet.).
But no one guarantee that level of income will last forever, we have higher level of stress and we need to prepare for the worst.
Then this makes the choice very easy. Go public.
inbox788
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by inbox788 »

HomerJ wrote:
mmrs wrote:Well, I admit 500K annual income is a lot,and you can call me I am a super rich (Yay! but I still feel, I am not, yet.).
But no one guarantee that level of income will last forever, we have higher level of stress and we need to prepare for the worst.
Then this makes the choice very easy. Go public.
Disagree. Choice not easy when you're the one making it. One answer to income uncertainty is income insurance (i.e disability insurance; keeping expenses low, life insurance, etc.) Accurate information and data is hard to come by. What do most folks (annual income > $500k) in the same situation do? I'd guess (but it's a wild guess) that the default is private school, but OPs the one having to decide if the potential opportunities (and risks) of private school are worth it.
randomguy
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by randomguy »

inbox788 wrote:
HomerJ wrote:
mmrs wrote:Well, I admit 500K annual income is a lot,and you can call me I am a super rich (Yay! but I still feel, I am not, yet.).
But no one guarantee that level of income will last forever, we have higher level of stress and we need to prepare for the worst.
Then this makes the choice very easy. Go public.
Disagree. Choice not easy when you're the one making it. One answer to income uncertainty is income insurance (i.e disability insurance; keeping expenses low, life insurance, etc.) Accurate information and data is hard to come by. What do most folks (annual income > $500k) in the same situation do? I'd guess (but it's a wild guess) that the default is private school, but OPs the one having to decide if the potential opportunities (and risks) of private school are worth it.
The choice is hard. Lets say you believe that private school is better and that you would do it if you knew your income would last 10 years. Do you want to take on the regret risk (job lasts 10 years) of not paying for school or the regret risk of paying for school (job ends after 2 years)? It is easy to always go don't spend money but there is a cost to not living your live how you want to.
rbaldini
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by rbaldini »

I haven't read up much. But the thing to look for is randomized trials comparing public to private education. There are a number of such studies; they work because some schools get too many applicants, so in some cases a lottery is held to decide who should get in. Comparing the lottery winners to the lottery losers should tell you what you want. This fixes the self-selection problem that others had mentioned, whereby only rich, successful parents - whose kids are also likely to do well in school, regardless - send their kids to private school. So go to google scholar and search for "randomized private public school", or some such, and read some abstracts.

The results I've seen suggest very modest effects:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 10023/full (abstract)
http://www.nber.org/chapters/c10087.pdf (full paper)
This review says there was a positive effect for African Americans in 3 separate studies in NY, OH, and DC. But no observed effect for other races.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... x/abstract
This one doesn't deal with private vs. public per se, but concludes that school choice in general doesn't have much effect on academic outcomes. Apparently putting them in "better" schools makes them less likely to get in trouble, though.

IMO, $40k per year isn't worth getting little to no effect. So unless you're African American, or the public alternatives really suck (which, if you're in SF Bay area making $500/year, they probably don't), probably not worth it. (Mind you, I didn't read these papers closely. Don't take my word for it.)
retired recently
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by retired recently »

My wife and I are going through a similar decision and I never imagined we would consider anything other than public (including charter...). Our local high school is pretty decent but eighth grader son has done independent study during math period since mid year of third grade, except for Algebra II in 6th grade so we are applying to some privates and also boarding schools.

We have spoken to the local high school and they seem to be very willing to ensure he is able to take courses generally not available for freshmen. Our concern is that he would enjoy discussing a different method of solving a given math problem whereas most kids in the local high school will only want to know and memorize one solution and move on. I really hope to find schools with kids who really like math, programming, science plus like to have their kids play sports.

Our income is at a level where we can get financial aid but assets will presumably disallow any aid. Tough decision as it is a lot of money but I believe it might be the best option for our circumstances.
FoolStreet
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by FoolStreet »

mmrs wrote:
Just curious from looking at your past posts....do you donate the thousand dollar plus per kid that the public school foundation asks? 3k donation per year donation is cheaper than 80k/year private tuition. Lot cheaper than private schools.
When I wrote the last post about school donation last year, we were still in the fellowship/internship.
We came from abroad, and we had a debt(all cleared now),and our income was about 150K at that time, I think.

Of course, I am sure 150K is still a big income for lot of people, but living in the peninsula bay area with two kids at that time, we felt $3500 school donation was a lot burden. We have just got a big raise with nice incentive, we've just started to get this level of income this year.

Well, I admit 500K annual income is a lot,and you can call me I am a super rich (Yay! but I still feel, I am not, yet.).
But no one guarantee that level of income will last forever, we have higher level of stress and we need to prepare for the worst.

We may be able to afford lots of luxury with this income level,but the thing is, we are not interested in luxury at all.
we don't shop for clothes,I am not interested in luxury car.
Simply we don't want to spend our money on what I don't admit its value.

Research is still on going, but as of now, we are likely to stay in public school system.
After all, I found lots of people in the area say they are satisfied with their public high school.
I was worried about the highly stressed environment, but that's almost everywhere.
Most of all, my kids says they like their friends and their friends are also likely to stay in public school.Well, for kids, friends are all what they care about.

Oh, by the way, I also would like to correct, that my kids are " Fluent" in several languages at their age level, fluent in conversation.I didn't mean more than that! They just speak our mother languages plus English, that's all. Don't worry, they are damn normal kids. :happy

I'll take that as a yes? :-)
Galun
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by Galun »

I think private schools are advantageous for two types of kids - those who are marginal to begin with and need the structure / better staffing ratio of a private school to push them to the finish line, and those who are extremely bright and motivated where the private school will allow them much more freedom to explore / advance academically relative to a public school system that's more restricted by regulations. Say if your kid is smart enough to take pre calculus in 8th grade, CSUS / Nueva can probably accommodate with a same grade IEP, and Harker will actually have a class for you. Clear advantage to private school in these situations.

For the "average" high achiever (for the lack of a better term), I think public school is just as good as private. Since you don't own a house, you can pick any public school you want - you just need to move. Find a high school with lots of acceleration tracks and AP classes and there will be plenty of opportunities for them to explore and be successful. Aragon in San Mateo county, Paly / Gunn in Palo Alto, monta vista in Cupertino.

Perhaps a little different perspective. $43k a year plus "optional" donations (yeah right) for 4 years is worth maybe $300k after they graduate collage in 8 years. if you spend the money on private school now, your kid MAY end up in a better college. Ok, that's a good start, but that's just the beginning. Then they have to work hard to get to the top of said college. If they get there, MAYBE they end up with a decent job offer out of college. Or they could have deviated from that path along the way. The alternative, if you haven't spent on private school, is the ability to hand them $300k when they graduate college, for a huge head start in life. More importantly, I think this provides options and freedom to explore, that they otherwise wouldn't have.

You are on boggle heads so you understand the power of compounding. You were public school products and looks like successful doctors (you mentioned internships). So think back on your own career journey. If your parents had given you $300k when you graduate and allow you to finish med school debt free, or if you had $300k to supplement the measly income during internship / residency, how would you feel about that, and what kind of financial situation would you be in now?

If you can afford to send the kids to private school AND hand them $300k after they graduate, by all means, do so. Private school is going to be a superior education for most people. The question is whether the opportunity cost is worth it.

The other thing is that the unique makeup of Bay Area / Silicon Valley means there are lots of enrichment opportunities outside of school. in my opinion the advantage of private school is less clear due to this abundance of opportunities.
Galun
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by Galun »

retired recently wrote:My wife and I are going through a similar decision and I never imagined we would consider anything other than public (including charter...). Our local high school is pretty decent but eighth grader son has done independent study during math period since mid year of third grade, except for Algebra II in 6th grade so we are applying to some privates and also boarding schools.

We have spoken to the local high school and they seem to be very willing to ensure he is able to take courses generally not available for freshmen. Our concern is that he would enjoy discussing a different method of solving a given math problem whereas most kids in the local high school will only want to know and memorize one solution and move on. I really hope to find schools with kids who really like math, programming, science plus like to have their kids play sports.

Our income is at a level where we can get financial aid but assets will presumably disallow any aid. Tough decision as it is a lot of money but I believe it might be the best option for our circumstances.
Sounds like you have a gifted kid. If you are in the Bay Area there is the proof school in SF. Otherwise there is art of problem solving online. Research had indicated that the mentorship model works with gifted kids - I.e quality instructors / mentors spending relatively less time on guidance is superior to drill and kill. They can probably get that from their aops peer group or a math circle. Perhaps advocate for a math IEP in high school? If you are in the Bay Area I would be curious in how it worked out for your child - my kids are in early elementary and in similar situation.
Last edited by Galun on Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Galun
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by Galun »

randomguy wrote:
inbox788 wrote:
HomerJ wrote:
mmrs wrote:Well, I admit 500K annual income is a lot,and you can call me I am a super rich (Yay! but I still feel, I am not, yet.).
But no one guarantee that level of income will last forever, we have higher level of stress and we need to prepare for the worst.
Then this makes the choice very easy. Go public.
Disagree. Choice not easy when you're the one making it. One answer to income uncertainty is income insurance (i.e disability insurance; keeping expenses low, life insurance, etc.) Accurate information and data is hard to come by. What do most folks (annual income > $500k) in the same situation do? I'd guess (but it's a wild guess) that the default is private school, but OPs the one having to decide if the potential opportunities (and risks) of private school are worth it.
The choice is hard. Lets say you believe that private school is better and that you would do it if you knew your income would last 10 years. Do you want to take on the regret risk (job lasts 10 years) of not paying for school or the regret risk of paying for school (job ends after 2 years)? It is easy to always go don't spend money but there is a cost to not living your live how you want to.
Equally high regret risk that they spend a couple hundred thousand on private school, the kid gets into a prestigious college and then blows up (whatever that means - let's say deviate from parent expectations).
coulombre
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by coulombre »

My 3 children all went to public school. The town we live in has a highly ranked school system in Massachusetts. They are all doing very well as adults.

For us, we had a fine school system at our disposal. However I certainly would have and could have made a different decision if we felt it was advisable. I think it really boils down to finding the right fit for each child.

I explained to my kids growing up that about 10% of their teachers would be exceptional, 10% would be awful and Mom and Dad would deal with that if/when it happened (only once, and we were among many complaining loudly), and then there's the spectrum of teachers in the middle. It's what they'll discover in real life as well.

Personally I grew up in the inner city of Boston in a very lower middle class, blue color area. I was fortunate enough to attend Boston Latin School, and that was the most valuable educational experience of my life. There are some exceptional public school programs out there, especially in larger metropolitan areas.

Good luck!
retired recently
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by retired recently »

Sounds like you have a gifted kid. If you are in the Bay Area there is the proof school in SF. Otherwise there is art of problem solving online. Research had indicated that the mentorship model works with gifted kids - I.e quality instructors / mentors spending relatively less time on guidance is superior to drill and kill. They can probably get that from their aops peer group or a math circle. Perhaps advocate for a math IEP in high school? If you are in the Bay Area I would be curious in how it worked out for your child - my kids are in early elementary and in similar situation.
Kid is a hard worker who likes math. He has been working primarily with AoPS for the last few years and is doing their PreCalculus course now. We live on the east coast but have heard of the proof school. Son actually took a course from the director of the school this past summer at a camp and he could not stop talking about how great of an instructor he is - if we were close and he could get into the school that would definitely be our first choice.

We go to a math circle which has been great but it only meets once per month. Best of luck to you!!
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ram
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by ram »

inbox788 wrote:
HomerJ wrote:
mmrs wrote:Well, I admit 500K annual income is a lot,and you can call me I am a super rich (Yay! but I still feel, I am not, yet.).
But no one guarantee that level of income will last forever, we have higher level of stress and we need to prepare for the worst.
Then this makes the choice very easy. Go public.
Disagree. Choice not easy when you're the one making it. One answer to income uncertainty is income insurance (i.e disability insurance; keeping expenses low, life insurance, etc.) Accurate information and data is hard to come by. What do most folks (annual income > $500k) in the same situation do? I'd guess (but it's a wild guess) that the default is private school, but OPs the one having to decide if the potential opportunities (and risks) of private school are worth it.
Based on a sample size of about 40 to 50 families in our city I would disagree. Most families(about 90%) have sent the kids to the local (excellent) public high school. Outcomes typically have been good to very good irrespective of the choice about public/private.
Ram
inbox788
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by inbox788 »

ram wrote:
inbox788 wrote:
HomerJ wrote:
mmrs wrote:Well, I admit 500K annual income is a lot,and you can call me I am a super rich (Yay! but I still feel, I am not, yet.).
But no one guarantee that level of income will last forever, we have higher level of stress and we need to prepare for the worst.
Then this makes the choice very easy. Go public.
Disagree. Choice not easy when you're the one making it. One answer to income uncertainty is income insurance (i.e disability insurance; keeping expenses low, life insurance, etc.) Accurate information and data is hard to come by. What do most folks (annual income > $500k) in the same situation do? I'd guess (but it's a wild guess) that the default is private school, but OPs the one having to decide if the potential opportunities (and risks) of private school are worth it.
Based on a sample size of about 40 to 50 families in our city I would disagree. Most families(about 90%) have sent the kids to the local (excellent) public high school. Outcomes typically have been good to very good irrespective of the choice about public/private.
You have 50 families with > $500k annual income? Out of how many families?

10% of students are in private school, so that's national average.

Interesting charts here. Check out Private School Enrollment and Household Income, Private School Enrollment and Public School Quality, and Neighborhood Housing Costs and Public School Quality charts. Not that surprising, but consistent.

http://www.citylab.com/housing/2014/08/ ... us/375993/
ks289
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Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Post by ks289 »

inbox788 wrote:
ram wrote:
inbox788 wrote:
HomerJ wrote:
mmrs wrote:Well, I admit 500K annual income is a lot,and you can call me I am a super rich (Yay! but I still feel, I am not, yet.).
But no one guarantee that level of income will last forever, we have higher level of stress and we need to prepare for the worst.
Then this makes the choice very easy. Go public.
Disagree. Choice not easy when you're the one making it. One answer to income uncertainty is income insurance (i.e disability insurance; keeping expenses low, life insurance, etc.) Accurate information and data is hard to come by. What do most folks (annual income > $500k) in the same situation do? I'd guess (but it's a wild guess) that the default is private school, but OPs the one having to decide if the potential opportunities (and risks) of private school are worth it.
Based on a sample size of about 40 to 50 families in our city I would disagree. Most families(about 90%) have sent the kids to the local (excellent) public high school. Outcomes typically have been good to very good irrespective of the choice about public/private.
You have 50 families with > $500k annual income? Out of how many families?

10% of students are in private school, so that's national average.

Interesting charts here. Check out Private School Enrollment and Household Income, Private School Enrollment and Public School Quality, and Neighborhood Housing Costs and Public School Quality charts. Not that surprising, but consistent.

http://www.citylab.com/housing/2014/08/ ... us/375993/
Interesting data. The disparities in private school attendance in different neighborhoods, towns, and geographical areas reflect different drivers of choosing private school (religion, quality of the private vs public option, income, etc).

When these variables coalesce in a certain way, you may end up with very skewed numbers. It is easy to understand ridiculously high rates of private school attendance in wealthy areas with 1) mediocre public option and 2) excellent private option. On an individual level, it is much harder to generalize. The child's "fit" with the school choices can be highly subjective.

Regarding the financial aspect, OP could be in a position to offer their child both tuition and financial support in adulthood while adequately saving for their own retirement. At that point, it boils down to OP's priorities in their spending and willingness and ability to continue to work (vs earlier retirement).
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