Public vs Private School: Is One Better Than the Other?

Finding the best possible education for your children?

With thousands of educational institutions in the United States, the choice might be difficult. However, it sometimes boils between two choices: public vs private school. Choosing the right type of school can go a long way toward your child’s future.

Join us as we discuss some of the differences between these types of schools. Read on and determine the best choice for your children:

  1. Teachers

Most new teachers gravitate toward private schools. These teachers have less than four years of experience in teaching. The percentage of new teachers in private schools is 16%, while public schools have 11%.

One of the reasons why most experienced teachers go to public schools is the benefits. The packages and higher salaries make them stay longer in these institutions. Often, private schools complain that they feel like a feeder system for their public counterparts.

Public schools have a higher rate of teachers with master’s degrees at 48%. Private school teachers only have 36%.

It’s an important distinction. A master’s degree gives teachers more tools to teach students better. Also, lots of public school teachers join professional development efforts each year.

  1. Class Sizes

A huge consideration for parents is the disparity between class sizes. The average class size for a public school is 25. Meanwhile, private schools only have 19 children per class.

Private schools have a better ratio between students and teachers at 12.2 students. As for public schools, it’s 16.1 students for each class. If your children aren’t comfortable with big crowds, it’s better to send them to private schools.

  1. Costs

It’s already a commonly-accepted fact that private schools are expensive. Local taxes pay public school education. In most cases, you’ll only have to pay for small miscellaneous fees and nothing else.

However, private schools can cost about $11,000 each year. The price range for these institutions ranges from $7,000 to $25,000. The cost will depend on the type of school your kids will attend.

Catholic schools offer the best value for private school education. Its average cost is about $6,900 each year. Nonsectarian schools are more expensive, reaching up to $21,500 every year.

  1. Diversity

Private schools offer a valuable method of picking the students for their child. These institutions offer a better, more positive peer environment. It’s because they have all the power to screen the students they’ll allow in.

Private schools can tailor their educational offerings. They can make it specific to the kind of child they want. Since they need payment, most students in these schools come from wealthier families.

Public schools can’t pick or choose the students in their programs. Only select charter schools have this ability. Regardless, it caters to each student’s right to choose school.

  1. Classes

Private schools aren’t under state supervision. It means their curriculum caters to suit their focus better. If your child desires to become a master of the arts, music, and other subjects, private schools are better.

Public schools focus more on core classes. The constantly-changing budgets alongside required testing force these schools to adopt this stance. It often results in negligence of the abovementioned peripheral subjects.

During high school, most private schools prepare their students for college education. It means offering more options for extracurricular activities. They also offer advanced placement courses, gifted studies classes, and more.

  1. Test Scores

Private school students in high school score 5 times higher on ACTs. This same level of disparity is also apparent in primary and middle school education. Comparing math tests, private schools scored 18 points more for 8th-graders and 8 points more for 4th-graders.

Reading tests also presented the same results. Private school students score 18 points higher in 8th-grade reading tests and 15 points in 4th-grade.

  1. Religion

The Constitution guarantees the separation of church and state. It means local public schools can’t introduce religion into their curriculum. Meanwhile, most private school students go to schools with religious affiliations.

Almost 2 million children attend Catholic schools. It’s the largest component of the private school student base. Regardless, lots of the children attending these schools aren’t even catholic.

  1. Campus Size

Public schools are often at least twice the size of most private institutions. The size of the school often relates to the local area’s population density. For example, an average public school can have over 500 students in a single area, while a private school will only have 200.

The reason for the smaller private school campus size is because of the controlled academic settings. Their rigorous screening process makes it difficult for some students to enter. It matters not whether their family has the means.

However, smaller schools have some disadvantages. They offer specialized programs. It’s only possible because of the smaller pool of students.

They might not qualify for advanced course offerings. It’s because their student or qualified teacher count is too low.

Larger schools can support specific groups inside their student population. For example, some institutions offer targeted help to international students. They often want to learn English as a second language.

It’s still debatable whether the campus size affects the quality of education.

  1. Special Needs

Children with special needs need more attention. Special education laws mandate public schools to meet these children’s educational needs. It means these institutions will offer special programs with the right teachers.

Public schools often have specialized institutions that support children with various special needs. On the other hand, private schools have no obligation to maintain. Most won’t have special educational programs for them.

However, some private schools focus solely on children with special needs.

Public vs Private School: Which is the Best School?

These are some simple comparisons between public vs private schools. Consider these when you choose a school for your child. Think about their situation and make a compromise with your budget.

Are you looking for more educational tips? Why not read our blog posts? We have lots of helpful information about various topics.