Very High Net Worth, elite private or “good” public

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notsobright
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Very High Net Worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by notsobright » Sat May 18, 2019 4:18 am

Hello, my kids will be going into 4th 2nd and K this coming school year. The 2 oldest are doing well but my DW and I have growing reservations about the nearby public school system. Currently the elementary /middle / and high schools are all “B” rated schools (6/10 great school rankings). We have the option to send all 3 children next year to a “prestigious” very expensive college prep private school for 30k a pop (90k /yr for all 3)

Money isn’t an issue (sold a business). And we love our house and location so moving is out of the question. The private school is only about 20 minutes away.

I’ve already read every private school post on this board :) but still wanted to hear what you all might have to say. So, What would you guys do in my situation? Keep rolling the dice with the “good enough” school district that our kids have done well in so far, or send them to the elite private school that is extremely expensive but still well within our budget?

** DW and I are also very impressed by the private school offerings fwiw, much smaller class sizes , great arts, athletics , and community programs)
** DW and I both went to rather poor public schools



*** EDIT **** MORE DETAILS AS REQUESTED

Lots of people asking what our reservations are.

The schools have recently been rezoned, going from 10% free lunch to 50% free lunch. As you can imagine, this has a direct correlation with the school's test scores. We also spent a day observing the kids and noticed some disruptive children with behavior problems that we felt were not handled to our satisfaction, this was really the event that kick started this whole thing.

The 3rd and the 1st grader are both at the top of their class.
DW is a SAHM.
~10M total NW, late 30's, I plan to continue working with a typical director level engineering salary in a MCOL area.

[Personally identifiable information removed by admin LadyGeek]

** EDIT ***

I really want to emphasize that money is no issue so I retitled to VERY HIGH nw and have posted our net worth (~10M). I really appreciate people talking about ways to save money but this post really is about what to do when money is not a factor. Sure you can get tutors, or supplement their education, but they are still spending 8+ hours, 5 days a week, for the next 12 years somewhere.
Last edited by notsobright on Mon May 20, 2019 4:47 pm, edited 25 times in total.

lakpr
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by lakpr » Sat May 18, 2019 4:24 am

Personally, I would stick to public schools based on what you wrote here, but it is just a gut feel/ gut preference.

mighty72
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by mighty72 » Sat May 18, 2019 4:36 am

If money is not an issue then I would take the private school route

IngognitoUSA
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by IngognitoUSA » Sat May 18, 2019 4:44 am

Private. They will get a lot more personalized attention.

msk
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by msk » Sat May 18, 2019 4:45 am

There are advantages/disadvantages to the public schools: your kids are better connected to the general public and its value system but may end up less ambitious/motivated than they might be in a more competitive environment. May end up in mediocre colleges not because of a lack of ability but because of being too laid back. Drugs?
Private schools: They end up with the value system of kids born with silver spoons (good and bad) but that comes with presumptions of entitlement to being tomorrow's leaders. Think of the British aristocracy ruling the Empire for centuries... Excellent networking with tomorrow's aristocracy especially if they end up settling in the same general vicinity (America is NOT as meritocratic as we may wish. Harvard is over-full of kids with high NW parents). Drugs?

If you can afford the $90k without sweating, go private. I chose the same private school for 4 kids, now all graduated from the same very decently ranked college. DW and I met while in grad studies at the same college but both of us had gone to public schools in childhood. Many roads lead to Rome but some are smoother. You could also just invest away the $90k into stocks year in year out and even if the public schooling has a bad impact on one of the kids, you can still hand him a healthy :moneybag to kick start his lifetime career. It's all about affordability.

ks289
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by ks289 » Sat May 18, 2019 5:43 am

The individualized attention, course and activity offerings, and academic rigor of the private school need to be clearly superior in order to be worth the money and hassle of changing schools. It sounds like this school would meet those requirements. Be sure that’s the kind of place which would fit your kids of course.

More importantly, some private schools really emphasize having nice kids and strictly maintain a welcoming and warm environment. For our kids, we found that all of these measures were met pretty darned well when we switched from a good public elementary school to a well regarded private school. The peer group has really been the biggest benefit where now it is cool to be smart. This type of environment doesn’t exist at all schools.

SQRT
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by SQRT » Sat May 18, 2019 5:55 am

I was in your position and sent my daughter to private schools. No regrets. Worked out very well.

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Snert
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by Snert » Sat May 18, 2019 5:57 am

Lots of very successful people did not attend elite schools. Many did not complete college.

A second thought is that the experience children receive at home has a mighty influence on their future. That experience may outweigh the experience they have in school. Or vice versa.
Never give up, never surrender!

carolinaman
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by carolinaman » Sat May 18, 2019 7:09 am

Snert wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 5:57 am
Lots of very successful people did not attend elite schools. Many did not complete college.

A second thought is that the experience children receive at home has a mighty influence on their future. That experience may outweigh the experience they have in school. Or vice versa.
+1. A blended approach might work as well. Let the kids go to public schools during early years and then go to private high school.

Strayshot
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by Strayshot » Sat May 18, 2019 7:14 am

If the fiscal impact is negligible, why not?

I went to public school, spouse went to private school. We are both graduate educated and make roughly the same income in different fields. If you were to analyze each of us in a vacuum, my path was infinitely better from a financial standpoint. I have much more drive and grit and was able to tough through the public school experience and make what I could out of my education. I do not believe my spouse in that same scenario would have been nearly as successful without the support of the private school.

Spouse did things in middle school and high school that most kids do in college. Much more individualized attention from teachers, amazing trips, etc. How much did it matter? Who knows.

Our kids will go to private school, not because I think the education or experiences are worth it but because my town has become a trash heap of poverty, crime, and drugs. I want to minimize the risk of them being exposed to other peoples kids in the free babysitting that is public school and put them in an environment where good education is a lower friction experience than what I dealt with.

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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by Nowizard » Sat May 18, 2019 7:16 am

My wife and I grew up in middle class homes that focused on education and support of public schools, so that is where our children went. As with yours, they did well, and they have solid employment and financial stability. Similarly, we have no financial problems, are not wealthy and feel very fortunate. We also have friends who are extremely wealthy, one of whom has actually stated that anyone making less than $250,000 annually is "A worker bee" They are very nice people, by the way, just clueless in some areas. The point of this is they also say they would "Never" send their children to a public school. The stated reasons are the same as mentioned by others here, with one addition. Top private schools are "Contacts for the future since that is where other community leaders send their children." This does appear to be accurate and something to consider if a prime value is either obtaining or maintaining wealth. Our family, and theirs, both feel content within their particular value systems and share many of the same values.

Worker Bee

thx1138
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by thx1138 » Sat May 18, 2019 7:30 am

Besides the school ratings is there anything specific that is giving you reservations about the public schools the kids are already attending? Are there actual changes afoot in the school system? Or is there something about your youngest that makes you think they might do better in a different environment than their siblings did OK in?

School “fit” to an individual child is I think more critical than what the ratings are. Especially in the early years. If the kids are always happy to go to school and not having behavioral issues then might not be a strong incentive to change. Especially when not at a typical matriculation point (e.g, between elementary and middle school). That can be socially challenging.

We were thinking of public early and looking at private around middle or high school. But then our public school system tanked amazingly fast. We made the call to go private from the start as a result. We know folks that had older kids and the choice between getting out of the declining system and the disruption of changing schools was a hard choice. For those that did change for some it was universally positive. For others it was a real challenge. It just depends on so many things.
Last edited by thx1138 on Sat May 18, 2019 7:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat May 18, 2019 7:30 am

Private.

Attending the private school was a life-changing event for one of my kids, and an improvement in the life of the other. This is in spite of the fact that the public school in our area was a very well regarded public school system, frequently ranked among the best in the nation. But, they were not very good for my kids.

Additionally, the private school, because of its generous financial aid offerings, had a much more diverse student population than the public school.

At the time we decided to move to the private school, our financial situation was not as comfortable as it is today. Nevertheless, I would do it again in a heartbeat. In your situation, what’s the question?
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

Dottie57
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by Dottie57 » Sat May 18, 2019 7:37 am

carolinaman wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 7:09 am
Snert wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 5:57 am
Lots of very successful people did not attend elite schools. Many did not complete college.

A second thought is that the experience children receive at home has a mighty influence on their future. That experience may outweigh the experience they have in school. Or vice versa.
+1. A blended approach might work as well. Let the kids go to public schools during early years and then go to private high school.
+1

I do think public high schools are better with a much wider variety of children. There can also be some excellent teachers in public schools.

Doubleeagle4me
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by Doubleeagle4me » Sat May 18, 2019 7:47 am

Ok, I was in same situation. Sent my first daughter to private art school. Sent other daughter to Ohio state engineering on
Scholarship. Daughter loves OSU. My advice is if they plan on going to grad school go ivy or private. Undergrad let them have fun and explore.

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Watty
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by Watty » Sat May 18, 2019 8:04 am

notsobright wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 4:18 am
The private school is only about 20 minutes away.
That is likely 20 minutes on a good traffic day but there may be days that are not so good. There will also be additional time waiting to pick them up and drop them off so you are looking at more like an hour a day that the kids will be sitting in a car.

If you or your wife will be driving them to school each day then that could be around an hour round trip in the morning and another hour in the afternoon. When picking kids up you will also need to be there a bit early which adds additional time too.

The kindergarden, grade school, middle school, and high school may also be on different schedules or locations so that could also add to the kid shuttling time.
notsobright wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 4:18 am
, great arts, athletics , and community programs....
When any of those would be on after school or on the weekend you would have additional time shuttling kids around.

There will also be times when you will have to go to the school to pick up a sick kid and that can be a long drive with a puking kid in the back seat.(Been there done that.)

The logistics of getting to things like dentists and doctor appointments will be more complex.

You will also have times when you have one sick kid that needs to stay at home but the other kids need to get to school.

If you are in an area where there is snow then that could add additional complications.

Also be sure to consider what time the classes start and what time they will have to get up if the commute adds a lot of time.
notsobright wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 4:18 am
And we love our house and location so moving is out of the question.
If you choose the private school you should really consider moving closer to it.

I think you are grossly underestimating the impact of the distance with shuttling three kids around.

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Sandtrap
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by Sandtrap » Sat May 18, 2019 8:05 am

Get the best education (at all levels including graduate, including non-academic) that money can buy if you can afford it.
Potentially the highest lifetime returns per dollar spent. :D
*As far as private vs public > whichever has the highest education and other standards available. (assume private if available).
*By this, I mean value far exceeding what can be entered on a spreadsheet or added with a calculator, or abacus.
Last edited by Sandtrap on Sat May 18, 2019 9:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

cerequio
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by cerequio » Sat May 18, 2019 8:11 am

I am not sure what state you are in, but we Iearned the hard way that some states do not regulate the private schools or provide any oversight. Where we live (FL), I learned that our elite private school did not require professional development of their teachers, and therefore it was pure luck if you had a teacher who was passionate enough to follow the latest education research and practices or if you ended up with a teacher rooted in antiquated methods. The school had amazing facilities, but when it came down to it, the academics were far more rigorous at public than this school. We saw gifted kids bored and the teacher "teaching to the middle" often. When administration was made aware of the situation, they claimed they "differentiate" but it wasn't happening consistently among all the teachers.

Ultimately, private schools can do whatever they want. We pulled our children out because at least the public system has some regulation and some standards, a gifted program etc. Teachers can be great at public or private, but for us, once we encountered a teacher who was doing whatever she wants and administration was uncaring about it, it made the decision easy to save $50K+/year.

finite_difference
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by finite_difference » Sat May 18, 2019 8:14 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 7:30 am
Private.

Attending the private school was a life-changing event for one of my kids, and an improvement in the life of the other. This is in spite of the fact that the public school in our area was a very well regarded public school system, frequently ranked among the best in the nation. But, they were not very good for my kids.

Additionally, the private school, because of its generous financial aid offerings, had a much more diverse student population than the public school.

At the time we decided to move to the private school, our financial situation was not as comfortable as it is today. Nevertheless, I would do it again in a heartbeat. In your situation, what’s the question?
Yes, I think the answer depends on your kid, the private school, and the public school, and even their classmates/environment in their grade. One person can even make a big difference. So it’s very hard to come up with a general answer.

I would do public school, and if it turns out well, then can stay. If your kid doesn’t seem to like it very much, can always ask them if they want to try private school in Middle School or High School. Seems a bit traumatic to move them if they are getting good grades, seem generally happy, and have at least one good friend.

I think public->private will be an easier transition than private->public.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

finite_difference
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by finite_difference » Sat May 18, 2019 8:26 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:05 am
Get the best education that money can buy if you can afford it.
Potentially the highest lifetime returns per dollar spent. :D
I generally agree with this, but paying $30k per year for 13 years (K-12) seems like a steep cost to recover, if you can get basically the same thing for free (not really free but you are already paying for it.)

That’s $390k. Probably more like $600k by the time they are 18, and $3,000,000 thirty years after that.

College is different because there’s no guaranteed free equivalent.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat May 18, 2019 8:34 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:05 am
Get the best education that money can buy if you can afford it.
Potentially the highest lifetime returns per dollar spent. :D
+1
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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Sandtrap
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by Sandtrap » Sat May 18, 2019 9:12 am

finite_difference wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:26 am
Sandtrap wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:05 am
Get the best education that money can buy if you can afford it.
Potentially the highest lifetime returns per dollar spent. :D
I generally agree with this, but paying $30k per year for 13 years (K-12) seems like a steep cost to recover, if you can get basically the same thing for free (not really free but you are already paying for it.)

That’s $390k. Probably more like $600k by the time they are 18, and $3,000,000 thirty years after that.

College is different because there’s no guaranteed free equivalent.
By "highest lifetime returns", I alluded to value far exceeding what can be entered in a spreadsheet or calculator.
Should have put that one in to clarify.
Cheers. :D

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BolderBoy
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by BolderBoy » Sat May 18, 2019 9:13 am

notsobright wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 4:18 am
Money really isn’t an issue (sold a tech startup). And we love our house and location so moving is out of the question. The private school is only about 20 minutes away.
The research on this is very clear. The bulk of a child's success in school is due to the involvement of the parent(s) and NOT the choice of school.
** DW and I are also very impressed by the private school offerings fwiw, much smaller class sizes , great arts, athletics , and community programs)
Since money is no object, send them to the private school.
** DW and I both went to rather poor public schools
Likely supporting my first statement above.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

stoptothink
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by stoptothink » Sat May 18, 2019 9:16 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 9:12 am
finite_difference wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:26 am
Sandtrap wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:05 am
Get the best education that money can buy if you can afford it.
Potentially the highest lifetime returns per dollar spent. :D
I generally agree with this, but paying $30k per year for 13 years (K-12) seems like a steep cost to recover, if you can get basically the same thing for free (not really free but you are already paying for it.)

That’s $390k. Probably more like $600k by the time they are 18, and $3,000,000 thirty years after that.

College is different because there’s no guaranteed free equivalent.
By "highest lifetime returns", I alluded to value far exceeding what can be entered in a spreadsheet or calculator.
Should have put that one in to clarify.
Cheers. :D
And depending on the kid, the particular schools, etc. there may be no value added (or some even taken away) by going private. It most definitely isn't cut-and-dry.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Sat May 18, 2019 9:25 am

finite_difference wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:14 am
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 7:30 am
Private.

Attending the private school was a life-changing event for one of my kids, and an improvement in the life of the other. This is in spite of the fact that the public school in our area was a very well regarded public school system, frequently ranked among the best in the nation. But, they were not very good for my kids.

Additionally, the private school, because of its generous financial aid offerings, had a much more diverse student population than the public school.

At the time we decided to move to the private school, our financial situation was not as comfortable as it is today. Nevertheless, I would do it again in a heartbeat. In your situation, what’s the question?
Yes, I think the answer depends on your kid, the private school, and the public school, and even their classmates/environment in their grade. One person can even make a big difference. So it’s very hard to come up with a general answer.

I would do public school, and if it turns out well, then can stay. If your kid doesn’t seem to like it very much, can always ask them if they want to try private school in Middle School or High School. Seems a bit traumatic to move them if they are getting good grades, seem generally happy, and have at least one good friend.

I think public->private will be an easier transition than private->public.
This.
The absolute definitive answer is "it depends"
The corollary to that is "you won't know you made the right decision until it's too late"

On my street, we have public and private school kids. The public school is excellent, plenty of AP classes, national merit scholars, etc. That's for the top kids in the school. There are of course plenty of kids who barely scrape by and don't go on to college.

The private school kids didn't necessarily go to better colleges. Both public and private had drug use, even (especially?) among the affluent kids. Kids from both schools went on to Ivies and Service Academies and community colleges and prison.

Do what feels right and be glad you have 2 good options so you can change if one doesn't work out.

zlandar
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by zlandar » Sat May 18, 2019 9:26 am

I think it's more important that your children be motivated to succeed.

Either choice would be fine IMO if money is not a concern.

Figuring_it_out
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by Figuring_it_out » Sat May 18, 2019 9:30 am

I'm in a similar situation and I choose my kids to go the public school. I am very involved with the teaching process for the kids so their education is not completely "outsourced." good refresher for me as well and while I'm learning those "stupid" vocabulary words, I'm also teaching them my tricks on how to remember random sets of seldom used data. It turns out my kids pickup and retain information the same way I figured out works best for me. My parents didn't do that for me and i was not a great student but once I learned how my brain works the grads wandered up to A-B range through the end of college. The school is teaching them basic skills. I'm teaching them life lessons on how to be exposed to new things, acquire the required information, understand how it fits in the big picture and to spit it back out. My kids are a few years older than yours but I have been doing this for years and it seems to be working well. Yes it is more work for me but this is an investment of my time that will pay dividends for the rest of their lives.

On the flip side I have nieces, nephews, cousins and friends that went to high dollar private schools and either didn't go or flunked out of college. Access to great education is no guarantee of success. Not even sure it flips the odds vs a good public school. Ask yourself how are the schools graded? Standardized test? In every public school there are some good students, many bad ones, and mostly average ones. My method is to help my kids bring up the standardized testing scores for our school. :)
Last edited by Figuring_it_out on Sat May 18, 2019 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

stoptothink
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by stoptothink » Sat May 18, 2019 9:34 am

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 9:25 am
finite_difference wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:14 am
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 7:30 am
Private.

Attending the private school was a life-changing event for one of my kids, and an improvement in the life of the other. This is in spite of the fact that the public school in our area was a very well regarded public school system, frequently ranked among the best in the nation. But, they were not very good for my kids.

Additionally, the private school, because of its generous financial aid offerings, had a much more diverse student population than the public school.

At the time we decided to move to the private school, our financial situation was not as comfortable as it is today. Nevertheless, I would do it again in a heartbeat. In your situation, what’s the question?
Yes, I think the answer depends on your kid, the private school, and the public school, and even their classmates/environment in their grade. One person can even make a big difference. So it’s very hard to come up with a general answer.

I would do public school, and if it turns out well, then can stay. If your kid doesn’t seem to like it very much, can always ask them if they want to try private school in Middle School or High School. Seems a bit traumatic to move them if they are getting good grades, seem generally happy, and have at least one good friend.

I think public->private will be an easier transition than private->public.
This.
The absolute definitive answer is "it depends"
The corollary to that is "you won't know you made the right decision until it's too late"

On my street, we have public and private school kids. The public school is excellent, plenty of AP classes, national merit scholars, etc. That's for the top kids in the school. There are of course plenty of kids who barely scrape by and don't go on to college.

The private school kids didn't necessarily go to better colleges. Both public and private had drug use, even (especially?) among the affluent kids. Kids from both schools went on to Ivies and Service Academies and community colleges and prison.

Do what feels right and be glad you have 2 good options so you can change if one doesn't work out.
That's exactly how it is in my area. Academically, for the AP/Honors kids, the high school in my area and the ones that my stepfather and uncle teach at (both within ~10 miles of my home) are all superior to the best private in the state. They have higher test scores, better academic decathlon/science olympiad/debate teams, etc. Also, the environments don't seem to be too much different to me. If I had a really sharp kid, he's going to the public, period. If my kid is in the middle (and I had $20K+/yr burning a hole in my pocket) I'd probably consider private. There is nowhere near enough information here to make any sort of determination.

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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by FoolMeOnce » Sat May 18, 2019 9:36 am

notsobright wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 4:18 am
Hello, my kids will going into 4th 2nd and K this coming school year. The 2 oldest are doing well but my DW and I have growing reservations about the nearby public school system. Currently the elementary /middle / and high schools are all “B” rated schools (7/10 great school rankings).
Do you have specific reservations beyond the Greatschools rating? You have kids already in school, so hopefully you have a sense of whether they are good for your kids other than that rather useless rating. Our kids will be starting at a public school with an overall 6/10 rating, but we couldn't be more thrilled. All the parents there whom we've talked to love the school and their kids are thriving. Some we know moved to get into our school zone. We're talking million dollar houses, here.

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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by bligh » Sat May 18, 2019 9:52 am

As a parent myself, if I was in your situation (ie. money was not a consideration) I would evaluate the options based on the specifics. Tour the schools, look at the other kids in school, look at the general atmosphere of the schools, and see which suits the environment I want to expose my kids to. The other consideration would be how I feel my kids were doing in either school. Are they motivated to learn, are they socializing well, are they flourishing. If they are, then there is nothing to fix. What is causing you, and your spouse to have growing reservations about the school system?

Basically there is no right answer. You could compare the same two schools and come up with different answers for two siblings for the same family! We have very close friends that send one child to private school and the other to public school (ranked 8 out of 10). Essentially one kid was more academically gifted, and was getting bored and not enjoying going to school. The private school gave him more individual attention and a more academically challenging environment, and now he loves it. The other child was doing fine and flourishing in the same public school and had no issues at all. Even within the same school, individual teachers make such a huge difference.

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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by Minty » Sat May 18, 2019 9:59 am

notsobright wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 4:18 am
The 2 oldest are doing well.
I have no problem spending money on education, but there is an argument for "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." The option to transfer to another school will always be there. Of course, if the public school does not offer the opportunity for AP classes, placement in appropriately challenging courses, etc., that's a different matter.
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by GCD » Sat May 18, 2019 10:23 am

notsobright wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 4:18 am
I’ve already read every private school post on this board :)
I've posted in about 5 of those threads so I'll try not to be redundant.
notsobright wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 4:18 am
Currently the elementary /middle / and high schools are all “B” rated schools (7/10 great school rankings). We have the option to send all 3 children next year to a “prestigious” very expensive college prep private school for 30k a pop (90k /yr for all 3)
Where are you getting this ranking of the public schools and what standard are you using for claiming the prep school is prestigious?

I looked at Schooldigger when we moved to our current location and did my best to guess at what high school district we should move into. There were 5 HS in the town we moved to and 2 clearly beat the other 3. We moved into the one that was marginally in 2nd place, for a variety of reasons. Later, I discovered that US News and World Report ranks high schools. It ranked the number 1 school 18th in the state and none of the other schools were ranked, putting them all somewhere south of 65th place. If you look at Schooldigger the #1 and #2 schools look pretty close. But if you look at the USNWR ranking there is a lot more separation. I haven't dug into the difference in methodology between Schooldigger and USNWR. I''m sure the USNWR rankings have their own problems, I'm just pointing out that you may need to dig a bit into the methodology of those rankings.

It would be helpful if you stated the name of the "prestigious" school. People here will pick it apart pretty good for you. :D

As has been mentioned above, private schools aren't all equal. I went to a private school for part of my grade/middle school experience. As a parent I have used public schools because there were no private schools within driving distance that offered anything significantly enhanced over the public schools. You need to be brutally honest about what you are getting before spending money on it. A lot of private schools claim they are prestigious, but really aren't.

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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sat May 18, 2019 10:29 am

Minty wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 9:59 am
notsobright wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 4:18 am
The 2 oldest are doing well.
I have no problem spending money on education, but there is an argument for "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." The option to transfer to another school will always be there. Of course, if the public school does not offer the opportunity for AP classes, placement in appropriately challenging courses, etc., that's a different matter.
Sometimes a poor rating doesn't mean YOUR child will get a poor education. Sometime there are situations that create the look of two schools in one, one offering advanced classes, an IB program and an overall challenging curriculum, the other offering general and remedial classes.

In daughters HS, the two distinct paths were even housed in different wings; the only time the very disparate groups of students even interacted was in home room.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat May 18, 2019 10:29 am

A lot of private schools claim they are prestigious, but really aren't.
I agree. Prestige is bupkis. How selective are they? What’s the ISEE cutoff? How beholden is school management to influential/powerful parents? What’s the school approach to difficult kids?
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by goodenyou » Sat May 18, 2019 10:31 am

It all depends on what you study. What's best is what leads to a well-adjusted and thriving student. There are a lot of land mines that can derail the best laid plans.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | "The best years you have left are the ones you have right now"

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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by trustquestioner » Sat May 18, 2019 10:37 am

We took our kids out of the fancy $30k private school because the social dynamics and money worship (constant fundraising, parents social climbing) was too irritating. Was the right choice for us.

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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by Bacchus01 » Sat May 18, 2019 10:51 am

msk wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 4:45 am
There are advantages/disadvantages to the public schools: your kids are better connected to the general public and its value system but may end up less ambitious/motivated than they might be in a more competitive environment. May end up in mediocre colleges not because of a lack of ability but because of being too laid back. Drugs?
Private schools: They end up with the value system of kids born with silver spoons (good and bad) but that comes with presumptions of entitlement to being tomorrow's leaders. Think of the British aristocracy ruling the Empire for centuries... Excellent networking with tomorrow's aristocracy especially if they end up settling in the same general vicinity (America is NOT as meritocratic as we may wish. Harvard is over-full of kids with high NW parents). Drugs?

If you can afford the $90k without sweating, go private. I chose the same private school for 4 kids, now all graduated from the same very decently ranked college. DW and I met while in grad studies at the same college but both of us had gone to public schools in childhood. Many roads lead to Rome but some are smoother. You could also just invest away the $90k into stocks year in year out and even if the public schooling has a bad impact on one of the kids, you can still hand him a healthy :moneybag to kick start his lifetime career. It's all about affordability.
My experience is that drugs are not exclusive to public and in fact might be more prevelant in private.

That said, violence can often be different between the two.

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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by quantAndHold » Sat May 18, 2019 10:57 am

We chose public schools for three four reasons.

First, we wanted them to have contact with people from a wide range of backgrounds, not just people whose parents could afford an expensive private school.

Second, especially at the high school level, the public school system offered a lot of alternative programs that the private school didn’t, that we felt were valuable in building them into well rounded adults.

Third, we took the “if it ain’t broke” approach. Two of the three kids did just fine in public school, academically and otherwise. The third had issues, but the problems she had would probably have been made worse by being in an elite environment, and we would have ended up pulling her out. As it was, the public school, plus a lot of outside help, was probably the best place for her. All three got good educations, went to good colleges, and are successful adults now.

Fourth, they could walk or ride their bikes to school and to after school activities. Private school would have required someone to chauffeur them around. Our family life was better because we made choices that didn’t require be in the car all the time. The kids had more independence at an earlier age, and the adults had time to spend doing activities with the kids besides driving around.

Except for the very worst schools, the education *your* kid gets will be influenced more by what’s happening at home than by the school they go to. I suspect most children of Bogleheads would do just fine at 90% of the schools out there, public or private.

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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by Bacchus01 » Sat May 18, 2019 11:01 am

It is good that you are thinking through this.

We debated this with our kids. We intentionally moved to and stay in a relatively middle to upper-middle class area. We really wanted our kids to have a good public school education. Now, our public school, and pubic schools in wisconsin in general, are among the best in the nation. Our kids have a social group that spans ethnic, demographic, and socioeconomic realms. We felt that was just as important, if not more, than the classroom education itself. Even in pre-k we put our kids in a local community-center type of program instead of the expensive private or religion-based daycares. We believe our kids are more open to experiences, more color-blind (sorry, couldn’t think of a better term) and more appreciative of hard work then even we are. We also wanted them to understand that success was as much about how they approached situations and challenged themselves instead of the environment they were in or the connections they have.

Our oldest son will graduate in two weeks from HS. He challenged himself and has 5 AP level classes as a senior and 3 others under his belt along with 3-4 more honors level courses. The opportunity to challenge and succeed is there. He was never a straight-A student, but he has a well-rounded experience, Varsity captain, works two jobs, and scored a 32 on his ACT. He did well enough to get direct-admitted to flagship U into a top-10 ranked engineering program. (U-Wisconsin). He does not drink or do drugs and has never been in any serious trouble. I have no doubt he will be as successful as he wants to be.

Parenting is 50% of the equation. 40% is the child. 10% is the school.

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notsobright
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by notsobright » Sat May 18, 2019 11:09 am

Lots of people asking what our reservations are.

The schools have recently been rezoned, going from 10% free lunch to 50% free lunch. As you can imagine, this has a direct correlation with the school's test scores. We also spent a day observing the kids and noticed some disruptive children with behavior problems that we felt were not handled to our satisfaction, this was really the event that kick started this whole thing.

The 3rd and the 1st grader are both at the top of their class.
DW is a SAHM.
I'll just spill out some specifics, here's the school where they attend now

https://www.greatschools.org/maryland/t ... ry-School/
https://www.schooldigger.com/go/MD/scho ... chool.aspx
https://www.niche.com/k12/pot-spring-el ... monium-md/

and the private school we're looking at

https://www.niche.com/k12/mcdonogh-scho ... -mills-md/

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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by MotoTrojan » Sat May 18, 2019 11:21 am

Perhaps private high-school and stick with public now? Saves some cash and ensures you have well-rounded children. I am guessing they'll end up at an elite college too. If they spend their whole childhood surrounded by the elite, I can't imagine they'll be well-rounded.

Highschool will be the only thing that'll matter to college acceptance counselors too if you worry about that sort of thing.

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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by ResearchMed » Sat May 18, 2019 11:27 am

notsobright wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 11:09 am
Lots of people asking what our reservations are.

The schools have recently been rezoned, going from 10% free lunch to 50% free lunch. As you can imagine, this has a direct correlation with the school's test scores. We also spent a day observing the kids and noticed some disruptive children with behavior problems that we felt were not handled to our satisfaction, this was really the event that kick started this whole thing.

The 3rd and the 1st grader are both at the top of their class.
DW is a SAHM.
I'll just spill out some specifics, here's the school where they attend now

https://www.greatschools.org/maryland/t ... ry-School/
https://www.schooldigger.com/go/MD/scho ... chool.aspx
https://www.niche.com/k12/pot-spring-el ... monium-md/

and the private school we're looking at

https://www.niche.com/k12/mcdonogh-scho ... -mills-md/
You might want to edit out some personal info. That, plus the exact schools, would probably identify you pretty easily, including for other posts here.

If you want to do that, I'll delete whatever you delete from what I quoted.

Good luck.

By the way, I'd be in the "private" given your situation, especially if there are behavioral problems in the public school.

RM
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by Flyguy » Sat May 18, 2019 11:31 am

I'd go observe / spend a lot of time at the private school. We did the same thing and were amazed at the differences. Ratings can only tell you part of the story.

Also, I would never switch from public to private before high school. That can be very disruptive for friendships.

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Watty
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by Watty » Sat May 18, 2019 11:37 am

FoolMeOnce wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 9:36 am
notsobright wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 4:18 am
Hello, my kids will going into 4th 2nd and K this coming school year. The 2 oldest are doing well but my DW and I have growing reservations about the nearby public school system. Currently the elementary /middle / and high schools are all “B” rated schools (7/10 great school rankings).
Do you have specific reservations beyond the Greatschools rating? You have kids already in school, so hopefully you have a sense of whether they are good for your kids other than that rather useless rating. Our kids will be starting at a public school with an overall 6/10 rating, but we couldn't be more thrilled. All the parents there whom we've talked to love the school and their kids are thriving. Some we know moved to get into our school zone. We're talking million dollar houses, here.
That is a good point. Trying to rate a school is very hard to do.

I once did a corporate relocation to a city I did not know when my kid was in middle school so buying a house in an area with a good high school was a high priority. The main area we were looking in had a huge school district with around 15 large high schools. The school were rated from the top in the state down to some that would likely have a 3 or 4 Greatschool rating. The areas in the school went from very affluent down to lower middle class but there were not any real ghetto areas. Generally the best ranked schools were in the most affluent areas and the worst were in the lower income areas.

In talking with a guidance counselor one of the things we found out was that all the high schools had basically the same curriculum and resources and the only difference was the demographics of the students. Apparently one of the better predictors of a students success is the education level of their parents and in the more affluent area the parents usually had a lot more college and graduate degrees.

Some of the high schools in the lower income areas did tend to have more problems with crime and drugs but the high schools in the most affluent areas had their own set of problems.

We ended up driving through the student parking lot at one of them and there were a noticeable numbers of Mercedes and BMWs that the students were driving. There was even one late model Corvette. Even if you can afford it who in their right mind would buy a 17 year old a Corvette? It would have been a stretch for us to have bought in the more affluent area but we could have if we thought it was worthwhile. We ended up buying in an area that was still well into the upper middle class but less expensive. Later on we heard some stories about "rich kids" in the more affluent areas and while there was some of that in my son's high school it was not overwhelming.

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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by coachd50 » Sat May 18, 2019 11:40 am

Doubleeagle4me wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 7:47 am
Ok, I was in same situation. Sent my first daughter to private art school. Sent other daughter to Ohio state engineering on
Scholarship. Daughter loves OSU. My advice is if they plan on going to grad school go ivy or private. Undergrad let them have fun and explore.
The OPs children are going into 4th grade, 2nd grade, and Kindergarten. I am fairly certain they are not in a position to think about grad school.

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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by Bacchus01 » Sat May 18, 2019 11:56 am

notsobright wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 11:09 am
Lots of people asking what our reservations are.

The schools have recently been rezoned, going from 10% free lunch to 50% free lunch. As you can imagine, this has a direct correlation with the school's test scores. We also spent a day observing the kids and noticed some disruptive children with behavior problems that we felt were not handled to our satisfaction, this was really the event that kick started this whole thing.

The 3rd and the 1st grader are both at the top of their class.
DW is a SAHM.
I'll just spill out some specifics, here's the school where they attend now

https://www.greatschools.org/maryland/t ... ry-School/
https://www.schooldigger.com/go/MD/scho ... chool.aspx
https://www.niche.com/k12/pot-spring-el ... monium-md/

and the private school we're looking at

https://www.niche.com/k12/mcdonogh-scho ... -mills-md/
Top of their class in 1st and 3rs grade?

That’s not even a thing.

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notsobright
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by notsobright » Sat May 18, 2019 11:58 am

Bacchus01 wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 11:56 am

Top of their class in 1st and 3rs grade?

That’s not even a thing.
They have the highest test scores in their respective grades ? Not sure how else to put it.
Last edited by notsobright on Sat May 18, 2019 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat May 18, 2019 12:01 pm

OP, I could probably have found it on your links, but what % of kids board at the private? FWIW, that’s not something we would have considered doing.
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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by bltn » Sat May 18, 2019 12:34 pm

I went through a fairly well regarded public school system, probably no better than the one your children are attending. My wife was transferred from a well regarded public school system to attend a private high, out of state. To both of us education for our children was a priority for our money.

Our daughter, at the top her class in a small town school system (big schools), was transferred to the same public school system my wife attended. We decided against a private school to give my daughter a wider range of social contacts in school. My son later attended the same high school as his sister. Their high school stratified students academically. The top 20-30 students took many of the same classes together and had the same teachers. The same for the next 25-30 students down the academic ladder. The kids did well in school, and both went to colleges ranked pretty well nationally, both with some choices.
Interestingly, I looked up in one of the op s web sites for school ranking my daughter s early destination for high school, and compared it to the hs from which she graduated. The first hs from which we moved was ranked a 10. Her high school that she attended was ranked a 9.

Our conclusion is that a child motivated to achieve in school will do well in different school environments. I personally believe that going to a good public school is better for a child that a private school. Learning to deal with all parts of society in school is beneficial. Save the money for college.

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Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Post by coachd50 » Sat May 18, 2019 12:39 pm

notsobright wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 11:09 am
Lots of people asking what our reservations are.

The schools have recently been rezoned, going from 10% free lunch to 50% free lunch. As you can imagine, this has a direct correlation with the school's test scores. We also spent a day observing the kids and noticed some disruptive children with behavior problems that we felt were not handled to our satisfaction, this was really the event that kick started this whole thing.

Based on what you wrote, if the discipline/ behavior problems of other students (and how it was handled) bothered you, go the private route. Schools are often handcuffed when dealing with behavior/discipline by various laws, SPED guidelines, and ratings mechanisms.

What you touched on here is the obvious truth that is rarely acknowledged in public when thinking about/discussing education. A school is the collection of students enrolled, not a collection of educational programs and curriculum. School ratings generally correlate very strongly with the Socieoeconomic status of the students. School ratings come from student test scores, student discipline etc. As the SES of the student population decreases, test scores fall and discipline concerns go up.

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