The differences between public and private schools are plenty and obvious, but there are some pros to each side. However, the final decision should largely depend on the child’s own unique situation, the belief system of the parents and various other factors that we are going to discuss next.
Do You Want Your Child to Receive Special Attention?
Only about 10% of the entire US population study in private institutions, which means that the public schools are always going to be much more crowded to accommodate roughly 90% of the students in the US. Of course, this means that irrespective of their will to do so or not, teachers in public schools cannot provide as much time to each student, as might be required. Private schools on the other hand, not only have to deal with a fraction of the student population in the country, but the good ones make sure that only a limited number of students are allowed admission each year, so that each and every one of them is able to get sufficient attention from the teachers.
Do You Prefer a Flexible or Rigid Curriculum?
Public schools have set curriculums that do not offer flexibility, which can either be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the children and the parents concerned. Consider Smaller Scholars, which is a private school in Houston that follows the Montessori curriculum, but makes small adjustments to the curriculum for each student when necessary. The school aims to provide children with a challenging environment that scales with the abilities of the concerned student to allow for intellectual, emotional and social growth through the developmental years. A rigid curriculum on the other hand, won’t allow for that flexibility to accommodate the varying needs of students, but promotes uniformity instead.
Can You Afford It?
Public school is mostly free, private school is not. There is little doubt about the fact that private school students do perform better on an average in academics, as made evident by the NCES, but can you afford the tuition fees + extra expenses throughout the year? It is better to ask about it and realize the costs in advance, before actually getting your children admitted in a place that you cannot really afford. It isn’t as if public schools do not have good students and teachers in them, so if the expenses are something that you cannot afford in the long term, it’s not the end of the world.
Is Religion Important to You?
Private schools do not have the restrictions imposed on public schools by the US Supreme Court, which means that private schools can teach religion if they want, while public schools can’t. If you are inclined towards having your children learn about religious ideas in school, then private schooling is your only option.
As should be obvious by now, private institutions do tend to have more benefits going for them, and as long as you find an establishment in your area that follows a good curriculum and meets the set standards of the state, it is probably going to be a better option. Nonetheless, public schools are free and a huge majority of the total American student population do study in them. Therefore, the choice is mostly dependent on the particular situation and requirements of the child and his/her family more than anything else.