Public Servants and Private Schools: Where Top Politicians Send Their Kids

Jan 5, 2011· 1 MIN READ
obama_family_sized'Be good, kids, or I'll stick you in Catholic school.' (Photo: Obama-Biden Transition Project/Creative Commons)

When it comes to selecting a school for their children, the average American parents have little if any choice. The local public school is the only campus in town.

Politicians and government leaders, on the other hand, have an array of public and private schools to choose from.

So where do our elected public servents send their children of privilege?

President Barack Obama sends First Daughters Malia and Sasha to Sidwell Friends School. Annual tuition is about $29,000.

Vice President Joe Biden’s granddaughters Naomi, Finnegan, and Maisy are also on the Sidwell roster.

According to the Washington Post, the last child of a U.S. President to attend D.C. public schools was Jimmy Carter’s daughter, Amy. She lived in the White house from 1977 to 1981.

Rahm Emanuel, former White House Chief of Staff and Chicago mayoral candidate, is undecided about whether he will choose private or public schools for his three children in Chicago. Zach, Ilana, and Leah Emanuel attend private schools in D.C.

Emanuel’s opponent, Gery Chico, sends his children to Chicago Public Schools. "There is something to be said for leading by example and having a personal stake in the system you seek to reform," Chico recently told Fox Chicago News.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg sent his daughters Emma and Georgina to Spence School, an all-girls private academy on the Upper East Side with a $34,000 annual tuition.

After assuming control over the D.C. public schools in 2007, former Mayor Adrian Fenty was criticized for continuing to enroll twin sons Matthew and Andrew in a private school.

New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie sends his children to parochial schools, and thinks more parents should have the choice to do the same. He supports providing tax credits for parents who opt to send their children to private schools.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggers eldest daughter, Katherine, attended Brentwood School, where tuition ranges from $25,000 to $30,000.

In 2003, the Heritage Foundation conducted a congressional survey on school choice. Of those who responded, 41 percent of U.S. representatives and 46 percent of U.S. senators said they send, or have sent, at least one of their children to a private school.