The Differences in Public and Private Schools
When it comes to deciding where to send your primary or secondary school-aged child to receive their education, many parents don’t know where to start. Are private schools better than public schools because they’re more selective or is public the way to go because it’s more diverse? These questions are just the tip of the iceberg with parents and the public versus private school debate.
Private schools are becoming more popular these days as public school reputations are taking a hit. When sending your child to a private school, there are things you should know beforehand. First, a majority of private schools are parochial schools, meaning they are affiliated with a religious group or church. This means they more than likely will incorporate their values and general religious beliefs into their curriculum and activities. If you are a religious person and see value in instilling the same beliefs in your child’s education, this might be important to you. But if you are not religious and balk at the idea of a school teaching your child their beliefs, a parochial private school isn’t for you. Also, private schools are generally known for their small class sizes, more demanding academic requirements and specialized programs and curriculum. Conversely, private schools can be incredibly expensive, do not require their teachers to be state certified, are not obligated by law to meet the needs of special education children and have very competitive admission processes.
Public schools, on the other hand, are open to all people within their assigned district, require all teachers to be certified and are obligated to educate and accommodate special needs students. Public schools are also free for all students and participate in federal free lunch programs for low-income students. Also, attending a larger public school can provide students with a much wider range of programs, clubs, activities and organizations to join. On the other hand, the majority of public schools teach a general education curriculum that is mandated by the state. This leaves little room for specialization.
As you can see, there are pros and cons to attending both types of schools. Before you decide which is right for you, speak to counselors and administrators at your prospective schools, consider taking a tour of the campus and speak with parents who are in your similar situation.