Private Schools Vs. Public Schools



Private Schools Vs. Public Schools: Which is Right for My Child?


You want to give your child the best but you also have income constraints to think of. So how do you choose between private schools versus public schools? Put another way, how do you decide private education is really worth it? Here's a rundown of issues pertaining to private schools vs. public schools in North America.

Private School Tuition Vs. Public School Taxes

Everyone pays taxes, so you are already supporting the public school system. Why pay for both, you might ask yourself? The fact is that in numerous provinces and states, you can get tax breaks when you send your child to private school over a public school. This tax break can come in many different forms depending on what state or province you are in. Most private school parents view the "dollars and cents question" as a materialistic reduction. For example, for Jewish or Christian parents, a private school that bolsters religious faith offers something invaluable. Parents of Waldorf or Montessori school students feel much the same.

Private Schools Admittance Vs. Public School Admittance

Private schools are allowed to expel students and can choose not to allow certain students admittance. In fact, many private schools are difficult to get into. Public schools allow all students, regardless of religious creed, academic abilities, or any other factor. Sending you child to a private school means enrollment is selective and demands are uniformly higher versus a public school where they will be exposed to a wider variety of people and abilities. In today's world, both are likely to incorporate students from various cultures and backgrounds.

Student Population at Private Vs. Public School

In most areas, your children will attend public school with other kids from the same area. However, a number of provinces are moving toward a policy where you can request a change if you desire. When parents choose a private school, they often do so based on their desire to give their children a specific peer group, whether that is based on discipline, cultural, or religious background, or philosophical beliefs. In most private schools, students are excluded or expelled if they do not adhere to the school's policies or standards.

Class Size in Public Vs. Private Schools

Overcrowding of public school classrooms is one of the most common complaints about the public education system, a significant problem that inspires parents to seek private school alternatives.

School Governance

Because they do not use public funds (or in some areas, less funds), private schools are not as restricted in their program development or curricula. Private schools are not subject to budget limitations imposed by the provincial government (although, they may in fact, have more restrictive limitations). This freedom allows private schools to develop their own curricula. As long as parents agree with the intellectual, philosophical, or religious basis brought to the curricula, this independence from 'government interference' is seen as a great advantage of private schools over public. On the other hand, public schools use curricula designed to include all students, thus invoking in them a tolerance for others. Learning in both public and private schools is measured through standardized testing.

Teacher Certification in Private School Vs. Public

All teachers in public schools in almost all states and provinces in North America are required to have some form of federal, state or provincial certification along with a bachelor's degree. In the more prestigious private and boarding schools, there are likely to be teachers who are much more highly qualified, with graduate degrees and higher level awards.

Private school and public school administrators and educators all do their best to create the best learning environment possible. There are excellent public schools and there are excellent private schools. In Canada, the Fraser Institute ranks schools, often finding favour with private schools, although it does highly rank some public schools.

In the Final Analysis

As a parent, you need to decide for yourself. Visit schools and see what the schools and teachers are like. We think the option of private school makes all schools better and gives parents alternatives they may certainly want to pursue in finding the right education for their children.

Learn more about private school education, speak with experts and school administrators face-to-face, and get information about education programs and financial aid options at the Our Kids Halton-Peel Private School Expo and Toronto Private School Expo. Get 50% off admission for a family of four here: www.ourkids.net.

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