Public vs. private schools – New Yorkers discover the (cost) difference

Anecdotal or real, confined to the City or coming our way, I don’t know, but it says here that NYC parents are flooding public schools with applications for their kids.


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4 responses to “Public vs. private schools – New Yorkers discover the (cost) difference

  1. Wally

    How interesting that you must apply for public school in the zone in which you live in NYC, and can wait-listed, according to the article. What happens if you don’t get accepted to your public school?

  2. anonymous

    Can’t afford private schools means can’t afford to raise kids in Manhattan; morons should’ve moved to a rental in Scarsdale or figured out that can’t afford kids; no shame, same mistakes of people in trailer parks or ghettos everywhere

  3. Greenwich Gal

    Say Anon, if these people are morons then they won’t necessarily figure out that the schools are better in Scarsdale, but that doesn’t mean that the NYC schools should remain the scourge of the nation. All kids – whether the offspring of morons or not – deserve a good education. It used to be what made our country great – for example, the GI bill – and if we don’t keep education our priority it will be our downfall.

  4. New Buyer

    I live in the city with kids. Anon does not have a clue what he/she is talking about, and lacking facts should perhaps say nothing.

    These are some issues many NYC parents grapple with:

    Many local elementary (k-5) schools are excellent, on par with privates in many respects. This is particularly true for publics on UES, Tribeca, Chinatown. The PAs in wealthier neighborhoods raise a lot of money to pay for extra teachers, art classes, dance teachers etc. They fill in when the school dept makes cuts, a cause for frustration in some poorer neighborhoods/schools.

    There are several drawbacks that lead parents to select privates — the public schools have large class size & music rooms, art rooms, even libraries have been converted into class rooms at some schools. The public facilities may be nice, but most privates are incredible with expensive “perks” like large gyms, pools, computer labs, organic lunches, and large libraries.

    Private & parochial becomes much more of a need for middle and high school. The public options are bad. Unless your child tests into one the elite publics (and there are only a handful) options are slim. Likewise, it is more competitive to get into privates in 6th & 9th, so people just start the kids in private at kindergarten to avoid a possible shut out.

    Lastly, people have to “apply” to their local public to control overcrowding. I am zoned for a school 4 blocks away and needed to enroll my child by 3/15 to ensure a spot. If people wait and decide to go public after that, they might get sent to another neighborhood school in their district. However, there are 4 other grade schools in a 15 block radius that I could get placed into — luckily all are excellent. Not true in all neighborhoods — the UWS has less uniformity, so a child could get bumped into a poorly run school.

    Private tuition is $30-35k a year starting in kindergarten. If you need a bus, that’s an extra 10k. If you have 3 or more kids, the expense is insane. That’s nearly $250,000 a year in pre-tax dollars just to pay tuitions. In decades past, people simply moved to the burbs. In recent years, people have discovered the perks in raising kids in the city. Now, however, private school costs coupled with a recession are forcing people to move to towns with great publics.