Asking the Big Question: Are Private Elementary Schools Worth It?

Roughly 10% of students in the US attend a private school. These days, private schools have become a status symbol, a way to distinguish the haves from the have-nots. It seems like everyone from celebrities to politicians are sending their children to private school.

However, some people can’t help but wonder what the difference is. Are private elementary schools better than public elementary schools? Are private schools more of a status symbol than an advantage?

We’ll break down the differences in the paragraphs below and try to see if there are any advantages.

1. Extra Cost

It’s no mystery that private schools are far more expensive than public schools. Not only do you have to pay for books, unlike public school students, but you’ll often have to pay for extracurricular activities and other features of a private school.

Public schools, on the other hand, are funded through taxes, so you’re spending less money. Private schools often cost thousands of dollars in addition to taxes.

Public schools also have the advantage of free extra-curricular activities. This allows your child to explore some of their interests, such as sports and music, even if they don’t come from money.

The exception to this rule is the school band, which often requires the students to buy their own instruments.

2. Quality

The biggest benefit of private schools is that private schools guarantee quality education. Your child is not guaranteed to earn top marks in any subject, but they are given more attention and resources to do so.

The combination of more money and fewer regulations allows schools to explore different paths toward education, such as the Montessori approach.

Meanwhile, there’s no guarantee that the nearby school system is going to be considered good. Some of them don’t pass their inspections and have too many failing students.

This and other factors can lead to budget cuts, which can further harm the quality of the school. The higher cost of private schools means that this is less likely to happen.

The other side of this coin is that public schools can also be great, so there’s a chance that your child will get a great education for no extra money.

3. Fewer Students More Teachers

Private students often have fewer students per class than public schools do. This gives teachers more time to spend with each student. On average, the difference is six fewer students per class.

Adding to this advantage is the fact that there are more teachers per student in private schools, which means even more attention and extra help from educators.

This does come with a downside, though. Public schools often pay higher salaries, which means that they attract more experienced teachers. Private schools are more likely to attract teachers who may be fresh out of college.

While seasoned teachers may have more skill at teaching students, they may have less enthusiasm. After a while, most jobs tend to feel routine. We may be better at it, but we’re not as thrilled as we were the first time we walked into work.

Both enthusiasm and experience have their advantages, so there’s no wrong answer. It all depends on what you value more. 

4. Religion

Religion is another issue that plays into the private versus public school debate. Though non-sectarian private elementary schools still exist, religious private schools still make up the majority.

Considering that the majority of Americans identify as Christian, this may not be much of an issue for most of us. However, there is a significant portion that does not identify as religious, so they may have trouble finding a private school that fits their views.

Meanwhile, public schools have to take a secular approach to respect religious freedom. 

If you are a Christian, especially a Catholic, we can tell you about some great schools in San Diego.

5. Students

The question of student personality definitely comes into play here. If a student doesn’t take any interest in the school curriculum, a private school may not make much of a difference.

Private schools do help with this issue to an extent by offering a wider range of classes so that students can explore their interests, but it won’t work if a student simply doesn’t care.

On the other hand, a more motivated and curious student may not need a private school to excel. Many public schools offer advanced classes, which are often smaller than the average class.

A private school may offer more opportunities than a public school, but a truly curious student may be interested in learning on and off school time. Plus, private school education isn’t necessary to get into college.

All that’s really required is to prove that you’re capable of studying and learning the material that you’re given. Students can get into college from a private school, public school, and even home school.

Private Elementary Schools: The Takeaway

Private elementary schools get a lot of attention for being prestigious and elite. However, many can’t help but question whether these private schools are really all they’re cracked up to be.

This question is hard to answer because it depends on circumstances. If you feel like your child might need more attention or opportunities to succeed, a private school might be the right choice.

Meanwhile, students who are more independent learners should be fine in public schools.

If you want to know more about private schools, especially in the San Diego region, please visit our site. We can tell you about the advantages of learning a second language for your child.