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Published in the March 29, 2017 issue of The Bells
Parents must decide where their children will excel and prosper. The debate between private and public schools has been an ongoing dispute since the beginning of time. As any parent who has toured both sides of the spectrum, there are very distinct differences.
I have attended a private institution my entire academic career, and I will admit I am completely biased toward private education. My biased opinion stems from my multiple encounters in a public school environment.
The most obvious difference between private and public school is the money. The good news for public schools is that they cannot charge tuition. The bad news is that they are funded through federal, state, and local taxes. The limited funds may not be dispersed evenly or where the needs are most necessary.
For private schools, the money comes from tuition, donations and funding. Since private schools generate their own funding, they do not have to follow certain regulations like public schools. Private schools control when and where their assets come into play.
The next obvious distinction between private and public schools comes through the admissions process. Public schools cannot deny a student into a public education system. By law, public schools must accept a student. Unfortunately, public schools do not take into consideration a parent’s choice in where their child goes. The residency of the family determines what school the child will be enrolled in.
Private schools are not required to accept every candidate. The process for admission is selective and determined through interviews, essays, and tests.
Requirements for teachers also differ between private and public schools. Public school teachers must be certified through the state, including a completed course load and student teaching. They must teach a standard curriculum within the state guidelines.
Private school teachers, on the other hand, do not necessarily have to have certification, but more of a display of expertise in their specific field. They have the freedom to teach whatever curriculum they see fit. The choice to decide what to teach may strengthen or hinder the student’s education.
Alongside teachers and curriculum comes class size. Public schools tend to keep class size small during the early elementary years. Once they transition into high school, the class sizes grow in numbers. Private schools tend to keep the student-to-teacher ratio relatively low.
I will always choose a private education over public education for the simple fact of quality over quantity. I have seen the classroom size exceeding its limit, ultimately taking away individual attention.
Private school teachers interact with students enough to sense a problem, either emotionally or mentally. Additionally, private schools offer a sense of unity and equality with uniforms.
Public schools offer a higher risk of bullying and stereotyping with name brand clothing.
Again, I admit, I myself have never attended public school, but I have had my fair share of involvement with the public education system, and would still choose private over public.