Where will you send your kid to school? Are you better off in a private or public school? Do charter schools offer more services, or are the differences so small that they don’t matter?
There are some useful statistics about private and public schools that you should know. Parents looking for a private school have to ask themselves: “Is a private school worth it? Is the benefit of private schools worth tuition, fees, and other costs of public education?
But relax. Here’s everything you need to know about sending your kid to a private school vs. a public school.
New President, New Rules
The Education Department’s tax rules make it difficult to calculate the true cost of education. This is likely to change under the Biden administration. Biden has shown a commitment to higher taxes and bigger investment in the state.
For some parents, the cost of public and private schools is secondary to the benefits of faith-based education. It is also about personal priorities related to faith and culture and the quality of education for your child.
When it comes to the old problem of public and private schools, there are practical considerations that go far beyond cost.
A common complaint about private schools is that they feel like a feeder system for public schools.
Here’s a look at some of the differences between public and private education in the United States. Remember it’s about much more than just pure cost.
According to data from the US Department of Education, more than 60 percent of teachers in New York City public schools are employed by private companies.
On average, teachers in public schools are better paid than private school teachers. However, the proportion of teachers in public schools is higher, at 48%. Compare this with 36% in private schools. Most public teachers participate in more professional development than private school teachers.
The difference in class size is one of the biggest problems Parent discussions between public and private schools.
According to NCES, the average class size in public schools is 25 children, compared with 19 children per class in private schools. Private schools have 16.1 per pupil, compared with 14.5 per pupil in the public school system and 13.2 per child in the private sector.
The differences in class size have been a major factor in the debate among parents about public or private schools.
Value For Money
Private schools are expensive. But this is not a new finding. Unlike public schools, which are financed by local taxes, private schools cost an average of $11,004 a year. This can rise from $7,000 to $25,180, according to NCES.
Costs vary by religion, with Catholic schools offering the best costs, averaging $6,990 a year. Nonreligious schools, however, can get a hefty price, $21,510 a year, and non-religious schools a little less than half that.
The country’s 34,576 private school system offers parents the opportunity to be more selective about the type of students their children will spend the day with.
Because parents pay, students tend to come from higher socioeconomic strata, according to the NCES.
Public schools, except charter schools, are not allowed to choose who attends them.
A recent summary of high school graduates showed private students scored four points better on the ACT than public school students.
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Secondary Level and Advances Courses
At the secondary level, many private schools focus on preparing children for college and tend to offer more advanced courses such as mathematics, science, English, and social sciences.
However, public schools often focus more on core classes, owing to ever-changing budgets and the need for more resources.
A comparison of math tests shows that private schools don’t perform significantly better in math and science than public schools, but not in reading.
The same discrepancy exists in elementary and middle schools, according to NCES, and reading comes out with the same results.
Private schools also perform better in science and social sciences than their public counterparts. Besides, the private school performs significantly worse in English than its public counterpart.
A total of 1.9 million children attend Catholic institutions in the United States, making it one of the largest religious institutions of its kind. According to the US Department of Education, more than one-third of all public school students attend a religious school.
The separation of church and state is guaranteed, which means that local public schools cannot include religion in their teaching.
Until this system is changed, there is a strong correlation between religious education and academic performance in public and private schools.
More than one-third of all students enrolled in public schools in the United States are Catholics. This has steadily increased over the years.
Private School: Is it Worth The Money
Whether a private school is worth it, the money depends entirely on your child’s education. If they are Catholic, then there are some good options in the private sector where religious studies are allowed.
You will often get smaller class sizes, better facilities, and teachers who are more educated in the private sector. However, there are some good public schools, but they are few and far between.
Be sure to investigate to make sure you are getting value for money before you part with your hard-earned cash.
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