One of the most difficult educational decisions for parents involves determining whether they should send their children to a public or a private grade school. There are a number of different factors which should be taken into consideration, and below are a few of the options which families may wish to consider:
Perhaps the strongest determining factor, the financial means of a family can certainly make the difference between whether a child can attend public school or a private institution. Most parents are already funding the public school system through the payment of taxes, but some families may feel that the premium cost of a private institution is well worth the additional financial burden.
One of the most common complaints from parents whose children attend public school involves class size. As public budgets continue to get slashed, so does the funding for education. As a result, teachers may be responsible for a class of 30-35 students rather than a more reasonable range of 20-25. Of course, as class size increases, students who are struggling often do not get the personalized attention that they need and can fall behind quite easily.
Public school curriculum is normally composed of material which has been state-approved and generally accepted by society. In the public school system, students have the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of cultures, religions, and beliefs. In contrast, due to the absence of public funds, many private schools are religiously or culturally-based. Although this would give students a more in-depth perspective of a single background, it would not provide them with a sample of the different cultures and religions they may encounter once they graduate.
Nearly all of the educators in the public school system have an Undergraduate degree, and may also have an additional teaching degree along with in-school teaching experience. However, the requirements for a teacher at a private institution can vary, as each school may require varying qualifications and experience. Some teachers at a private institution may have a PhD, while academic staff members at another private school may not have a College degree at all.
Ultimately, the decision of public versus private school may depend on the value that parents place on education. The beliefs and values that parents wish to instill in their children will also play an important role. Many students have the opportunity to experience both public as well as private schools, and this may be one of the only ways parents can truly discern which type of environment would be conducive towards the success of their children.