Private Versus Public Schools

Maggie Muelken, Contributer

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There has been a lot of debate on the differences between public and private schools. Although there are many differences, the two are similar in more ways than one.

Both private and public schools have special programs, advanced classes, have some form of payment, and many exclusive opportunities.

I have been to both private and public schools in my life, and it is in my opinion that they both have strong, alluring qualities. The private school had smaller classes, a competitive learning environment, advanced classes, uniforms, individual attention from teachers and staff, and much more.

I appreciate most of the qualities from there, but the public school, I have noticed, rises above the private school I went to in a few big ways: it costs  exceedingly less money to attend, there is more diversity, there are more specialized education programs, and classes are taught better.

So, just how much do private schools cost? On average for a high school in the United States, private schools cost $13,030 a year, and private elementary schools are around $7,770.

In contrast, public schools are paid for through taxes. There are classes for all levels of students, as well, at public schools. Private schools (for the most part- though not all cases) focus on advanced courses for many students.

A few more facts found while researching about both include many not-thought-about topics. Public school teachers must have a teaching license while private school teachers are not required to have one, though it is usually preferred. Private schools can avoid standardized tests since they do not rely on local and state funding, while public schools get money from the government so they are held to separate testing standards.

Private schools typically have more discipline and safety for all students. This can be linked to uniforms, but it is also because private schools may accept only those they choose. Public schools must accept everyone. 

In my experience, both private and public schools are beneficial. I am glad my parents sent me to a private school for elementary and middle school, but upon arriving at the public school for high school, my eyes have been opened and I have had many experiences I would never have the chance to get if I did not come to this public school.

I enjoy seeing the vast differences between the schools I have attended, but I have also noticed surprising similarities. PLHS is a truly inspiring and exhilarating environment.