Why are private schools so expensive?
I have a child that will start kindergarten next year and we are looking at Head Royce and Redwood Day school in particular. My question is why are these schools so expensive? The standard answer we hear is that they offer small class sizes, and lots of extra programs such as music, art, etc., and, for higher grades, a plethora of AP options, tons of extra-curricular activities, etc. However, the high-performing public schools in places like Orinda, Palo Alto, and much of Marin have all of these things, and generally operate on per-student budgets in the range of $10-15k per year, with parent groups and fundraising contributing another $2-3k, for total budgets in the range of $12-18k per year, per student. Why do Head Royce and Redwood Day need to charge roughly double that amount to provide what appear to be similar services (Kindergarten at HR is about $32k per year)? It seems like tuition at these schools is literally 100% more than it should be. What is going on here?