School is back for most kids in Charlotte next week, so you’ve probably already made the decision of where your child is going. But if you’re like many parents, you may wonder which is better – private or public schools. No matter which one you have decided on you already know one thing – there is a lot to consider when it
comes to making that decision.
Fortunately for Charlotte residents, the choices of both private and public schools is vast. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has one of the largest school districts in the country and has received widespread acclaim and recognition as one of America’s best. There are 159 schools in the district, including 37 magnet schools.
There are also more than 35 private schools in the Charlotte area with choices ranging from religiously affiliated schools to independent college-preparatory academies.
Deciding which school is best for your children depends on a number of factors, not the least of which is cost of tuition for a private school. There are advantages and disadvantages to both a private and a public school education.
Here are some of the pros and cons to consider when making a decision of whether to go private or public. Remember that even if you end up feeling like you’ve made the wrong choice, you can always try other options if the first one isn’t working right.
- No cost
- Builds community relationships with both parents and students
- Teachers are required to be certified instructors
- Access to diverse sports programs
- More choice in curriculum
- More options to address the needs of special needs students
- Convenience – close to your home, availability of school bus transportation
- More diversity
- Larger class sizes; some public schools have problems with overcrowding
- More exposure to unacceptable lifestyles at school
- Classes are taught at a mid-learning level, which may cause advanced learners to become bored
- Limited access to learning materials
- Outdated textbooks and computer systems
- Curriculum that doesn’t really allow for individuality
- Smaller class sizes
- Curriculum is more academically challenging
- Students can receive more individualized attention and foster closer teacher-student relationships.
- Close community of parents and students
- More access to up-to-date computers and technology
- Better textbooks and supplies
- More access to arts, music and foreign language programs.
- Private schools are not required to take state-mandated End-of-Grade testing
- High tuition costs
- Not all private schools require teachers to hold a state teaching license/certification
- Students must pass an entrance exam to be admitted
- Less diverse choice in subjects
- Less options for sports programs.
- Less diversity. Students can sometimes be too sheltered from “the real world.”