Choosing a school for your child is a big decision. If you are wondering whether you should send your child to a public school or a private school, here are some pros and cons of both that will help you come to a decision.
Note: (Of course, every institution offers something else, it is advisable to examine each school separately).
Free: The U.S. public school education is free. This is one of the biggest pros of a public school.
Small Classes in the Initial Years: One of the main reasons why parents send their kids to private school is that private schools have smaller classes. Fewer students means more attention to each student. However, the lower classes in a public school also have fewer number of students.
Diversity of Students: In a public school, your child will come in contact with kids from different ethnicity, different socio-economic backgrounds, different cultures. This allows a child to become more accepting and tolerating of differences.
Academic Diversity: In public schools there is a wider variety of subjects and electives.
Sports: The public budget and many students allows the establishments to invest in sporting fields and other facilities.
Large Classrooms: As you go to higher classes, the number of students in each class keep increasing and with the inability of teachers to pay close attention to each student.
Uninterested Students: Public schools are not allowed to discriminate between students. So, there are chances that there’ll be a lot of students who would not be interested in studies but are forced to be in school by their parents. This usually leads to a lot of ruckus in class and sometimes affects your child’s attention.
Lack of Resource: Despite government funding, public schools usually aren’t able to cope up with the demand for resources. As a result, the teachers aren’t paid good money, they sometimes don’t even have good books, equipment etc. to teach the kids. This results in lack of motivation at the teacher’s end and that reflects in their teaching.
Holistic Education: A private school offers a lot of options beyond academics. It could include sports club, dramatics club, other interest-based clubs, leadership programs, exchange programs with different countries and more. This makes your child a well-rounded individual.
Career Consultation: Every private school has an in-house counsellor, that provides career guidance to every child based on their performance and interests.
Personal Attention: Fewer students, well paid teachers, leads to better focus and attention on each student.
Less Bureaucracy: As a private organization, it is subject to minimum of regulation. It will be easier to expedite processes and easily reach the decisions.
Alumni Network: Graduates of private school have a broader relationship, thanks to their alumni organizations, which enable professional development and progress in Career.
Treating Students as Clients: Private education, as the name suggests, must give the student the best teaching experience, otherwise they can leave and move to another school.
Improved Equipment: The private budget allows the students to bring more elaborate technological equipment (e.g., iPad for each student), large libraries and more.
Costly: Private school education is costly. The average cost of a private school education is around 10K a year. Even more affluent parents should think about whether a private school is worth the cost, and perhaps alternative options are better (for example, private teachers, enrichment classes and outside school and more).
Elitist: Not everyone can afford a private school education. As a result of which, only kids from a particular socio-economic background will be studying with your child. They won’t be exposed to different thoughts and ideas. This may sometimes lead to elitist behaviour in your kids.
Religious: Many private schools in the United States often emphasize on religious studies and Christian values.
In any case, choosing a private or public school should take into account the economic situation, child's ambitions, and parents examining the alternatives and more. There is no one solution that fits everyone.