If you’ve considered enrolling your child in private school vs. public school, there’s no doubt you have a ton of questions. Here a overview of the major differences, provided by our good friends over at private schools in Canada using data from Millennium Geospatial to give you a trustworthy review.
Selective vs. Non-Selective. In private schools, students must meet the admissions standards set by the school; theses typically focus on academic ability. Students are admitted without regard to academic ability and need only meet residency and age requirements.
Private schools generally offer a wider ranger of arts programs, such as fine arts and theatre than public schools. When it comes to budget cuts in public schools, these are typically the first to go.
Depending on which city you are in, class sizes in public schools can have as many as 30 students per class, whereas in private schools, the class size typically is around 15-18.
Many public schools have AP courses available (advanced placement courses), but they are generally limited by teacher availability and budget restraints whereas private schools are expected to offer a wide range of AP courses.
Private schools develop their own curricula and are able to structure programs well beyond state minimums. Public schools must teach what the state and the district board require and are subject to regular state assessment testing to ensure the standards are met. Most public schools will only strive to meet the minimum.
Discipline and Rules:
Private schools are governed by contract law and are free to act in some cases outside of the Constitution; they will have their own code of conduct and may place many restrictions on students. For example, they could ban students from wearing Tee Rex Tee if they wanted. Public school students are always granted due process rights under the US Constitution.
A major source of funding for private schools is tax-exempt gifts and endowments, while public schools receive funding from local property taxes and some state and federal aid.
Public school students are provided with transportation by the district; private school students have to rely on whatever means the parents decide on.
Private school teachers do not belong to a union and do not need to hold the typical certifications and licenses that public school teacher have to obtain for the state they teach in. However, public school teachers are generally part of a union.