The differences between private and public schools

Now more than ever, parents are thinking about school choices for their children and the conversation between public and private schools is still part of the conversation. There are many crucial differences, but that doesn’t make one option better or worse than the other. Each family can and should choose the school that is best for them and their child. Each parent sends them to school for education, but they also send them to an experience. Schools must be adapted so that all have a positive experience.

School boards and school districts across the United States have been shocked as opinions on things like masks in schools and quarantined due to the coronavirus pandemic have created a wedge between parents. For this reason, many parents have left their current school to find one that better meets their wants and needs. Private schools are commonplace once these families leave public school districts in search of more. Parents will have no trouble choosing. A US News article indicates that there are 13,000 public school districts and 30,000 private schools in the United States.

The main difference between the two is that public schools follow a state-defined curriculum and are financially supported by public funds. Public schools separate from religion and follow state and federal regulations. These schools are free for any school-aged child in the United States. On the other hand, families have to pay the school fees for their children to attend a private school, this is how these schools get their money to operate. They do not have to follow any government guidelines regarding the curriculum and they usually offer a certain perspective that appeals to parents (religious, political opinion, a certain philosophy, rigorous academics)

Finances will make the decision

children at school

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As stated above, it’s no secret that public schools are free and families have to pay to attend a private school. Tuition fees vary and most schools have payment plan options, but these schools don’t come cheap. The average price of private schools will cost parents $ 12,350 per semester. Obviously, many families don’t have that lying around.

Scholarships and grants are also available for families in need, but most families pay out of pocket. This skews the demographics of private schools towards the upper middle class. This leaves these schools with less diversity than public schools and does not expose children to a variety of lifestyles. If you want your kids to be in a more diverse environment, public schools are probably the best decision. Of course, if money is a problem, public schools may be the only option.

RELATED: One Million Families Left Public Schools for Other Education Options Last Year

Class size and academics

children at desks at school

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Class size and course options are other areas where private schools will outperform public schools. Private schools have on average a lower teacher / pupil ratio; however, studies did not find a significant difference in small class size unless the class is very small. The benefits for students are only visible when classes have 12-18 students compared to classes with too many students in the 25-35 student range. This is not a very big problem since classes in public schools can have classes as small as 20. Private schools also have fewer students in general and students will get to know each other more closely than in larger ones. schools. More shy children might thrive in a smaller, more intimate environment.

Course selection and academic opportunities are other areas that differ between these schools. Parents with children approaching college may want a school, both public and private, that has higher ACT and SAT scores. There will also be differences in the types of courses offered by schools. Advancement Placement Courses are great for students who want to achieve high academic results. Public and private schools will offer them, but private schools may have more. Looking at test results, private schools consistently outperform public schools.

For students with learning disabilities, private schools may not be the best solution. These schools do not have the training or the resources for a variety of issues like public schools do. By law, a public school must draw up an education plan for every student who needs it and bring in specialists if necessary. Children with special needs are better off in public schools because they have the funding in place and the staff to help them.

These academic choices are personal, and there is a school that is just right for your child. Public schools and private schools each have their own advantages and attractions for families. Think about what you want in your child’s education when making this decision.

Source: US News, Education Data, National Association of Independent Schools


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