Private High Schools Have Both Pros and Cons
When it comes to where your child goes for high school, you usually have two choices. You can send your child to regular public school or you can send him or her to a private high school. There are pros and cons to each option, and where you live, your religion and your financial situation will play big roles in where you send your child.
Most private schools are religion-based, especially in smaller cities and rural areas, so your religion could play a big role in where you send your child for his or her final years of school. Catholic schools are the most common, but non-denominational Christian schools also are popular. Lutheran congregations run their own schools in some parts of the country, especially the Midwest and Plains. Though many of these religious schools do not require students to practice that religion to attend, they do offer required religious instruction that follows their faith, so that is a major consideration for many people.
A big drawback of private schools is that they often aren’t available in small towns. In rural areas, sending your child to private school could mean having to drive an hour or more. Throw on top of that the tuition required and it can be a burden that many families can’t afford.
Private schools also have many benefits. One of those is smaller class sizes. Since private schools aren’t free and are selective in enrollment, they have fewer students, which means a lower student to teacher ratio. Another advantage to private schools is that kids who attend them tend to do better academically. Private school students are more likely to apply to college — 88% vs. 57% of public school students. Private school students also score higher on standardized tests, such as the SAT and ACT.
Of course, there are advantages that public schools have over even top ranked private high schools. For one thing, public high schools don’t cost you anything more than the property taxes you pay to support your local school district. In larger public high schools, they often have better facilities such as a larger school library and offer programs that may not be available in small private high schools, such as Russian or Chinese language programs.
Whatever choice you make for your child’s high school education, make sure you do your research so you can feel confident you are making the right decision.