Where your kids go to school is one of the most important choices you will ever make for them. Though public schools usually offer a good education, in some cities and parts of the country, they are underfunded and do not provide a good environment for your children. In that case, private school is a choice you will want to consider, but there are pros and cons that you have to weigh before making a decision.
One of the big considerations when looking at whether to enroll your child in private or public school is school size. Most private schools are small, with nearly 90% having fewer than 300 students. And that often includes grades K-12. On the other hand, most high school populations, even in smaller cities, are above 300 students. And in large cities, elementary school, middle school and high school populations often are larger than that. At a smaller private school, your child likely will receive more individual attention and may have an easier time participating in athletics, with more chance to make a high school basketball team, for example.
Another big consideration is religious affiliation. Most private schools have some connection to a church or religion, with the Catholic church being the big purveyor of schools. While the school may not require you to practice that religion, your child will be exposed to it and likely will have to take formal classes in it, so if it would offend you or your child in any way, it may not be the best choice.
The cost of private school is another factor to consider in your choice. Many private schools have tuition rates that rival those of colleges, although they also may offer scholarships. If you have more than one child, trying to put them all in private school can be a major expense. On the other hand, if you own property, you already are paying for public schools through your property taxes, so paying for a private school can mean you actually are paying twice for your child’s education.
There are many things to consider when trying to decide between private and public schools. It is largely a personal decision and the factor that sways you one way or another may be different than what another person considers.
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