Education can be considered one of the most important decisions parents make for their children. Why? Because education lays the foundation to future success in life, I personally understood this concept early on in life. My parents from as far back as I can remember taught me the value of having an education. I can still remember my mom preaching to my younger brother and me about how the only thing an individual cannot take away from another individual is the knowledge gained in this world. Now many years later I find myself in the same position as many parents when it comes to education. I have to make the decision whether or not to send my child to public school or a private institution. How do public schools and private schools compare? And is there much of a difference?
Admission standards for public schools and private schools are similar in comparison when it comes to placement testing and reviewing previous transcripts from other institutions. Public schools unlike private schools are required by law to accept individual as long as the individual is attending a school in the district that they live in. Admission to a private school is not regulated by law and is up to the digression of the school administrators and if the requirements were met by the individual. Because private schools are more selective in their admission process parents tend to base part of their decision on the reputation. Private schools of good reputation are challenging to get accepted into because of the prominent level of competition at the admissions level.
Curriculum is a major influence on a parent’s decision whether or not to send their child to private or public school. In both private and public schools cover basic subjects such as English, Social Studies, Mathematics, and Science. By law public schools must follow state curriculum standards, which the schools are subject to state standardize academic testing. Whereas private school has much more freedom in their curriculum simply because they are not require to teach only basic subjects and are not subjected to state standardize testing. Private schools do subject the students to test but only based on comprehension and proficiency rather than retention. Since private schools have freedom in their curriculum, the schools have the opportunity to provide specialized courses and independent study to the students.
Cost is the deal breaker in the decision on whether or not to send a child to private school or public school. In both public school and private school a financial investment is made in a child. But the best way to cut the cost especially if the affordability of attending private school is out of the question is to send your child to public school. Public Schools are financially supported by the property taxes in the local area alongside funding from state and federal government. Unlike public schools, private schools do not receive support from property taxes. The way private schools receive funding is through fundraising, the tuition from the student body, and in some cases partial government funding. Because of the lack of state and federal assistance the average tuition cost in the United States according to the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) is roughly $17,000 to $50,000 a year. To offset the high cost of tuition parents should seek out financial aid, financing, and payment plans with the private institution.
The decision to place a child into a public school or a private school is not a decision that should be made overnight there is a lot to consider, most importantly the child. As a parent it is imperative to re-evaluate the child before placing the child in school because the child has to be placed in a school that is the right fit. Placing a child that thrives in a smaller group setting or enjoys one on one time I would personally consider private school as an option. If the child enjoys a larger group setting placing the child in public school will be right fit too. Overall the affordability of public school is more reasonable and the flexibility of curriculum of a private school is things can be negotiated when making the final decision. As a parent I know that the child best interest is always in the forefront whether I decide on a public school or private school.