Monday, September 26, 2005

Correction to 'Counting Costs'

Yesterday I posted on the costs of homeschooling versus private school. However, my colleague at Law, Legislation and Lunacy aptly asked, "but what if you have thirty kids?"

I must concede - if you have thirty children, homeschooling is probably cheaper than private school. However, this observation explains another phenomenon. People generally associate homeschooling with very religious people, and certainly one can point to religious reasons that those people are distrustful of state education. One might also note that homeschooling families on average have more children. It was rare for me to know of an only child who was homeschooled, but I knew plenty of families with four or five children. However, in private school many of the other students did not have siblings. It's not just that religious families with many children have some inclination towards educating their children at home; it's that their relative cost per child is lower. With an increase in the number of children, the relative cost of homeschooling another child drops. However, the cost of sending the additional child to a private school remains constant. Suppose a parent would be earning $50,000 after taxes and has five children. Private school costs $11,000 per child per year, or $55,000, and homeschooling costs the parent's salary, $50,000. It is no surprise that we notice homeschooling families tend to have more children.

No comments: