Public or Private Pros, Cons to Both School Choices

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When you are deciding where to send your child to school, you generally have two choices. You can go the traditional route of public school or you can select a private school. Each option has pros and cons, and in many cases it can come down to personal choice.

One of the benefits of private schools is small class size. Nearly 90% of all private schools in the U.S. have fewer than 300 students and the average size of all private schools is only 146, which generally means they have smaller class sizes than public schools.

From the public school angle, being larger does have some advantages, though. Public schools are often able to offer specialized class subjects that private schools don’t. This can include foreign languages, science classes and others. Larger public schools also can offer more extracurricular activities such as sports, music and drama.

Another advantage to private schools is the ability for your kids to receive a religious education if that’s what you want. Most private schools are religious-based, allowing parents to send their child to the school of their choice. Private schools account for 25% of all schools in the nation and 10 percent of all students, which provides plenty of choice.

A drawback of private schools, which is an advantage of public schools, is the cost. Most private schools cost thousands of dollars a year in tuition. With public schools, you don’t pay anything beyond the property taxes you already pay if you are a property owner. That can be a big issue if you have multiple kids going to school at the same time. Trying to send them all to private school, even with tuition discounts for multiple children, could be very expensive.

Trying to decide the advantages of private schools over public schools and vice versa can be difficult. The reasons why private schools are better for some people may not be that important to other people. If you want a religious education for your child, then private school is probably going to be your choice. If you are budget conscious and don’t want to pay extra when public school is free, then public school is likely to be your choice.