Public vs. Private: What Education Is Right for Your Kids?
**The Edvocate is pleased to publish guest posts as way to fuel important conversations surrounding P-20 education in America. The opinions contained within guest posts are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of The Edvocate or Dr. Matthew Lynch.**
A guest post by Anica Oaks
While there is a current push toward private education in many circles in today’s society, the reality is that there are many happy, well-rounded, and well-educated children from both private and public institutions. It really does come down to choosing what’s best for your child. However, that choice isn’t an easy one. As you weigh the decision of private versus public, it’s important that you consider the advantages of each as well as your child’s actual needs. You should also ask some important questions before making the decision so that you are fully informed.
Benefits of Public Education
The news is often touting the shortfalls of the public school system; however, it actually offers a number of benefits that you might not otherwise recognize. If you’re considering private versus public education, be sure to include these benefits in your deliberation:
- More qualified teachers: Teachers in the public sector are more likely to have master’s degrees and to have spent more hours pursuing continuing education courses.
- More time on core subjects: A national report found that students in public schools actually spend an additional three hours every week studying the core subjects of English, math, social studies, and science compared to their private school counterparts.
- More diversity: Public schools are available to students of any race and socioeconomic status, which creates more diverse student population.
Advantages of Private Education
That being said, the private school system also offers a number of advantages to its student population. While you are likely more aware of many of the benefits of private education, it is still important to keep these in mind:
- Smaller schools and class sizes: Statistics indicate that private schools on average are half as large as public schools. Just as schools are smaller, so are the class sizes, offering an average student-teacher ratio of 9:1 compared to 17:1 in public school classrooms.
- Less bureaucracy: Private schools aren’t mandated by all of the state regulations that public systems are, which results in less bureaucracy.
- High parent involvement: Parents who invest in private education typically have a strong say in their children’s educations, so private schools lend themselves to high parent involvement.
Finding the Best Fit for Your Child
It’s tempting to rely on what everyone else is saying about a school when you are making your decision. But, you truly need to focus on what is best for your child. Consider the options, which range from your typical brick and mortar public schools to more contemporary charter schools, and be sure to visit and ask questions to find what works best for your child.
As you make your decision, ask about the curriculum, student-teacher ratio, and even the school’s expectations for parents. Having all of this information up front will help you make an informed decision for your child.
Selecting the right school for your child is important. Take the time to consider the advantages of public and private options and ask questions to find the right fit for your child.
Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.