charter school vs private school

Charter School vs Private School: How to Decide What’s Right for Your Child

These days, it seems like parents have to start planning their child’s educational process before their kid even leaves the womb.

In some ways, this is great because there are now more choices than ever before, especially if you find your local institution isn’t up to your standards.

But, choosing between a charter school and a private school isn’t an easy process. The school you choose helps prepare your child for a successful future. It’s not something you can take lightly.

To help you decide, here is a break down of the differences between a charter school vs private school.

Charter School Vs Private School: The Basics

Let’s start by learning the difference between charter and private schools.

Charter Schools

Charter schools are like private schools except they operate independently of school through contracts with local or state boards. Charter schools are open to all children.

There are no entrance exams and there are no tuition fees. Charter schools can also have more than one campus like this charter school in Utah County.

Charter schools must also participate in state testing and federal accountability programs. The school is also responsible for drawing up their own rules and performance standards to hold themselves accountable.

Private Schools

Private schools are not run by any local, state, or federal governments. As a result, they cannot accept any public funding.

As a result, they are in control of which students they accept into their school. The admission process is usually in-depth and involves entrance exams and interviews.

While private schools are autonomous at the federal level, they still must adhere to basic state guidelines.

Comparing The Teachers

If you’re looking to see if charter schools are better than private schools, it’s important to take a look at who will educate your children.

It’s natural to assume that since you’re paying tuition at a private school, it must mean that the teachers are well paid and therefore, well qualified. Except, it’s not true.

Private school teachers tend to hold a bachelor’s degree and are state-certified or at least working towards certification. Being certified means the teacher has gone through state-required training, including student teaching and coursework.

However, it’s also worth noting that charter school teachers may fall under a more flexible certification requirement than most other school teachers do.

But there are no certification requirements at private schools. Instead, teachers at private schools have a subject-area expertise along with an undergraduate or graduate degree in the subject they teach.

Private schools also tend to pay their teacher’s significantly less money than what charter and public schools pay. However, that may or may not make a difference in the level of education your child receives.

Class Size And Academic Programs

Charter schools rely less on receiving money from the government. It’s far easier for a charter school to raise money from private sources.

This can help them maintain both a reasonable number of children per class and the number of teachers on staff. Raising additional funds also helps charter schools keep important programs like music and the arts.

However, all that can change radically from school to school depending on where you live and how affluent the community is. The ratio of student-to-teacher varies from district to district.

Most private schools tend to provide small classes with a low student-to-teacher ratio. However, there is no guarantee that a private school will keep their class size below a certain number of students.

Diversity in Charter School Vs Private School

Living in America means living with people from different cultures, races, and religions. Many parents realize the importance of introducing their children to other kids with diverse backgrounds early on.

Charter school statistics show higher diversity levels than private schools. In fact, one of the reasons charter schools got started was to specifically address the problem of racial segregation in other schools.

Charter schools draw students from different backgrounds, racial groups, and income levels by offering special programs like engineering, environmental sciences, and math.

For private schools, their ability to provide scholarships and loan programs have helped them become increasingly diverse over the years. However, they still aren’t as diverse as charter schools.

However, keep in mind that it’s perfectly legal for a private school to be selective with their students, such as choosing to only accept girls. However, at charter and public schools, it’s illegal and unconstitutional to discriminate against a student and deny them entry.

Faith-Based Private Schools

Many parents feel a faith-based education matters. In many cases, this is a primary reason for sending your child to a private school vs a public school or charter school. Catholic, Christian, and Jewish private schools can embrace their faith-based education in their curriculum and other activities.

Many faith-based schools also require daily attendance at a chapel, synagogue, or temple. However, even if you and your children are not of that same faith, many parents find the education provided is still worth it and send their children there anyway.

In fact, 17.4% of the student population at Catholic private schools are not Catholic.

Making The Right Choice

Often, making the right choice when it comes to a charter school vs private school, comes down to figuring out what’s most important.

There may be a great charter school within your district while a decent private school is further away. Maybe the tuition at the private school is more than your family can afford right now.

Perhaps your child has a specific skill or interest that one school specializes in over another. One school may provide more safety features and anti-bullying programs than another school.

Write down the pros and cons of each school before making a choice. Then choose the school you and your child are most comfortable with.

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Whether you want to teach at a charter school vs private school, your education starts here. To learn more about continuing your education, contact us today!