Stop Sending Your Kids to Private Schools and Expensive Colleges

I was discussing with a bunch of men the other day that there are certain private schools in our city (Nashville) that cost over $20-25,000 for a year in their high school. They are definitely prestigious names; places where you’ll rub shoulders with the blue-bloods of our state. And if you can afford it, if for you $20-25,000 is pocket-change, then I say go for it. But here is what I’ve discovered; a dirty little secret that no one wants you to know: the education is simply not worth it.

Yeah, I said it. I’m bold enough to admit it, and I dare anyone to challenge it. It just simply isn’t worth it. I’ve seen too much evidence over the years. I’ve lived in Nashville over twenty years and dealt with those who have gone to public school, Christian school and private school.  And what I’ve found is that the education itself really doesn’t differentiate much. That’s why I’m a big advocate for public school education.

I’ve put my money where my mouth is on this one. All three of my daughters graduated from public school here in Nashville. They’ve all gone to state universities. And guess what, they’ve all got quality education by really good people.

Yeah, in public school there are a lot of buffoons, a lot of people who are burnt-out and don’t need to be there. But guess what, they are also in private school and you’re paying $15-20-25-30,000 for it! And here’s the problem: too many families are going into debt to send their kids to private schools and private Christian schools. What do you think you’re guaranteeing? Absolutely nothing.

Here is the point. Send your kids to a good public school and engage in their lives. Be their mentor, be their model, and be their motivator.  You cannot hire someone to educate your children for you. If you’re not a reader, you’re not a leader. If you’re not a teacher, you’re not an influencer. Just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you automatically have influence and sway over your children. Sending them to a private school, letting them rub shoulders with others may in your mind give them a leg up. But my experience teaches me it does not.

I’ve seen way too many young kids who have $60-70,000 of college debt working for $1,000 a month with no prospect of anything better. I’ve seen graduates of Vanderbilt and elite schools of our town working in restaurants waiting on other people who are making more money, living more of life, more fulfilled, more impactful, and they went to a state school.

Wake up. This education is not worth it. It gives us the false sense that our children are getting a leg up on life when the truth is, it takes a mom and a dad together, loving each other, loving their kids, totally engaged, excited, prayerfully, carefully teaching, instructing, leading, challenging, and guiding your children for them to be a success. You can’t pay someone to do for you what has been given by God to you as a responsibility and the highest honor you’ll ever achieve.

Of all the things I have achieved in my life, the books I’ve written, the places I’ve spoken, the degrees I’ve earned, nothing is higher on the mountain of achievement for me than being able to woo, wow, and win the heart of a good woman and to have three amazing daughters who are now women themselves. Let’s stop asking other people to do for us what is not just our job, but our joy.

7 thoughts on “Stop Sending Your Kids to Private Schools and Expensive Colleges”

  1. Well said! God our children to US – not a school.
    Although our kids should b educated & taken to church it’s not the schools job (or the church’s) to do what only the Family can do.
    Great post!
    Pastor K.

  2. Interesting Thoughts Dave.

    One idea I’ve always been against is piling all the Christians in some isolated community, school, or even nation. Sure we could have our way with things that the secular world denies us, but what’s the point? We’re not supposed to separate the good from the bad, we’re supposed to let our light shine in the midst of consuming darkness.


  3. The education at private schools isn’t worth the price.

    My husband and I have chosen to homeschool and that has been worth the price. We chose to forego my income to homeschool our five children. My husband and I both were a product of the public school system. We both attended both state and private universities. Again, the cost of the private education did not outweigh the state education. You are paying for the “prestigious name” not the actual education. The “name” may (no guarantees) open some doors but it doesn’t give you the education advantage once you are in the door. You have to know your stuff.

    My husband and I have carried the debt of our private education for far too long. We are teaching our kids to stay debt free. I have researched all kinds of alternatives to educating them without going into debt, I.E. homeschool, dual-enrollment at the community college while still in high school, and tutors for areas of passion or areas where help is needed.

    I am all for…Save up for education or Pay as you go! No debt!= Freedom!

  4. I spent 10 yrs in Chicago land Catholic schools….HATED every minute of it, but they did teach me to ‘how’ to learn. I than attneded public schools and found out the ONLY education you got there was from the Teachers and Professors that cared, so I would tend to agree with you David.
    Now my daughter is going to St. Ceilia and having taken her to Noter Dame USD….U of D….Northwestern….U of Chicago.. U of W (Madison) and others to allow her to better understand what ‘Higher Education’ is all about (if you’ve ever been to the Grotto at N.D. you can better understand what I’m saying) and she’s maintaining a 3.6gpa….but more than that her PSAT’s came back recently and she scored in the upper 98%. Her Mother and I tried the lottery and she was accepted into NSA but most everyone knows their accidemics leaved a bit to be desired…it’s not bad, just not what I beleive is available at St. Ceilia’s.
    Point is now with her PSAT’s her counclor is thinking she may be able to get into Harvard (last years graduating class of 50 some odd averaged $112,000.00 in scholorship funding) with close to a full ride….just depending on how well she does this next year. She thinking of undergrad at H and grad school at U of Chicago. If all goes as planned I don’t think she’ll be working for a thousand a month… YOU????????
    Granted, not everyone has her accidemic or extra curricular activity drive, but I’m CERTAIN she wouldn’t have much of a chance at Harvard if she attended Maplewood (H.S. district where she lives)….but I DO AGREE with you David, that for the MOST part it’s the combination of Parents interaction and the students ability to take what they can.
    I FIRMLY beieve that it’s by the Grace of our Lord and the education we can get that will make our Home and Country the envy of the world to live in. Not that there aren’t better places to exist, but for the Freedom’s I enjoy…the Love I can spread…I’ll put my money right HERE……..LOVE……

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