Differences between Public Schools and Private Schools

When children are young and first learning how to walk and how to talk, their parents are excited, encouraging their children to learn as much as they can.  When a child is old enough to begin attending school, parents are faced with the responsibility of making the best educational choices for their child.  There are big and significant differences between private schools and public schools, and every parent AND child should know what those differences are so that they can make more informed decisions.  Although parents are the authority figures, the child is the person who will be most affected by the educational path he or she is directed on, and the child deserves to know the differences between private and public education. 

Public schools are run by the government.  As taxpayers, parents are paying in to the public school system, but the parents still do not get a say in how their child is being educated at school.  Public school boards must accommodate every student in the classroom, even if the students are disruptive and don’t want to be at school, public school boards do everything possible to accommodate each student.  Private schools on the other hand, will not bend over backwards to accommodate disruptive students because private school administrators are not obligated to the general public.  Private schools are funded by the students’ families and the families are welcomed to be more involved at the school because they are paying for the child’s education.  Disruptive students who are causing problems for their teachers and classmates can be dismissed from private schools, to the relief of other parents and students, because private schools have full authority over which students they choose to accept. 

Public school classrooms tend to be large, with as many as 30 to 40 students in each classroom.  Many private schools boast that their smaller classroom sizes help students to learn more effectively.  When one teacher is responsible for more than 25 students per classroom there is bound to be chaos and stress.  Public school teachers must grade papers, issue assignments, mark tests, and do report cards.  Private school teachers have the same responsibilities but they are responsible for fewer students, meaning less stress for them.  Teachers who are less stressed out are more focused on doing their jobs and attending to the needs of each individual student.  When students are getting more one-on-one assistance from their teachers they are more likely to excel. 

Many public school boards across North America have recently started cutting extra-curricular programs out of the school system.  Private schools have more ability to offer arts programs, swimming lessons, field trips and more because they can charge the parents for enrolling their children in those services.  Parents who want their children to be exposed to more than just the Three Rs should consider all of the benefits private schools have to offer.  Private schools don’t have as many students as public schools and can’t recruit and build large football teams or large basketball teams for their students to participate in, but there are plenty of other advantages, such as diversity of subjects, that private schools offer to students and families. 

Public schools are always being featured in the news; either the teachers are threatening to go on strike, there is violence in school hallways, or some other doom and gloom issue is being displayed.  Private schools are much calmer environments.  Vacation time is something else to consider too.  Everyone needs time to unwind and spend time with their families, and private schools generally give more holiday time to their students than public schools do.  Public schools have their advantages and disadvantages, as do private schools.  There is no one-size fits all education approach that meets every person’s needs, however, examining the differences between public schools and private schools will help more people determine which type of schooling is best for their families.