When it comes to public school alternatives, there are many choices to consider. Almost everyone probably knows of private schools, but many of you may be wondering how they compare to charter schools? Charter school vs. private school. We will be discussing the differences in 4 different categories and evaluating which one is best for you at the end of the article.
It’s no surprise that private schools do not receive public funding. All of the funding from private schools are from fundraisers, tuition, and grants. In general, this is why tuition can be so high. One thing to keep in mind is that not all private schools charge the same tuition. It is always a good idea to shop around if you are considering a private school to find a tuition that is affordable. It is also a good idea to look into any scholarship programs a private school may offer.
Charter schools function very differently on the funding side of things. Charter schools are publicly funded, which means they are free. There are some caveats to note later on in the article about this, but in terms of the funding it is the cheapest option between the two. It is important to note that charter schools may have some outside funding through fundraisers, but the bulk of funding comes from the state.
Size of Classes
When looking at a typical classroom in a private school, the class sizes are generally smaller. Private schools can be very selective with its student body, so in general the classes are smaller and more individualized. This type of education is the best a student can get but once again it comes with that catch of being selective. If considering a private school for smaller class sizes, it may be a good idea to look at a one-to-one private school. This provides the most individualized learning environment for the student!
Charter schools also have smaller class sizes than more traditional public schools. The class size however, will not be as small as a private school, but it is still a great option to consider for a more personalized education. Not all charter schools are the same so it is important to tour them and see for yourself if the class size meets your needs as a parent or student.
Private schools are known for having more intense academic standards than other choices. Each private school is different with college preparatory schools holding a different standard from a standard private high school. Once again, it is important to do the research on the school your considering to see if it meets your specific academic needs.
Charter schools, much like a traditional public school are required to follow state guidelines for their curriculum. This means a lot of the material is set in stone and is not able to fluctuate to match the student’s needs. While the academic experience is more personalized than a traditional public school, it does not hold a candle to the academic rigor and pressure put on students in private schools. For some parents and students, this may be what they are looking for. It all comes down to personal preference.
Teachers have varying requirements for working in a private school. Ultimately the qualifications are left up to the school itself. This means in some cases a private school teacher may not have a 4 year degree. However, most teachers prefer working in a private school environment so the staff is full of high quality and qualified teachers.
A teacher looking to apply for a position at a charter school, goes through the same process as a public school teacher. In Texas, the requirement is for teachers to have a Bachelor’s degree. They are not required to be state certified though. Once again this comes down to personal preference on the parent and student.
Which is Best For Me?
When it comes to choosing between the two, it really comes down to what type of academic experience you are looking for. If you are wanting a small, personalized learning environment, a private school is the best choice for you. If you do not mind a larger classroom setting but are looking for a better public school experience, a charter school is for you! I hope this helped you in the discussion of charter school vs. private school.