As a pro public school guy, my ears always perk up every time friends talk about choosing private high schools and colleges for their kids in San Francisco. Like many large cities in America, San Francisco faces the same dichotomy of a deteriorating public school system that is a result of years of underfunding and a rising private school system that is difficult to gain admission to due to an undersupply of positions.
The only solution is to raise taxes to raise salaries to attract even better public school teachers. We just aren’t paying our educators enough, and that’s a travesty. The biggest irony in large cities like Manhattan and San Francisco is that those who pay the most taxes are homeowners, yet many homeowners send their children to private schools. If we can better focus on raising taxes on people who use the services, we’d have a much stronger system. But logic never wins when it comes to politics, power, and greed.
I’ve always heard about wealthy parents buying their kid’s way into the best schools, but I never got exact dollar amounts until recently. Clearly every parent wants what’s best for their kids, hence tuition’s inelasticity no matter how much people complain. Education is the key to reducing the wealth gap.
The following conversations were had at a bar after an afternoon of tennis at a private club. Please keep them between you and me. I am dirt poor compared to these guys, but at least I can kick their asses on the court. They are the top 0.1% income earners, which is a world of difference from even the top 1%. Hopefully you’ll keep an open mind when reading this post and come up with some solutions!