Public vs. Private School: What is best for your family?

back to schoolOne of the most important issues for parents has always been making sure their children get the best education possible. Whether that means sending them to public or private school has long been the debate in living rooms and on playgrounds alike. Where we choose to send our kids to school is a loaded topic that can come to symbolize a parent’s values and worldview. So how do you determine which is right for your family?

Consider Your Investment

Perhaps the most obvious difference separating public from private is the financial commitment. Public schools are funded by taxes, which provides a reliable, abundant funding source. These funds translate directly into resources, particularly for students with special needs. Private schools are funded by tuition commitments, which can be dependent on population and the economy. However, there is something to be said for having to financially invest in your child’s education and selecting the school in which you invest, rather than have it dependent on the neighborhood in which you purchase a home.

Consider Your Values

You may find you have more like-minded families at a private school because they voluntarily choose to support the private school model and share similar values. Values that can be found at school as well as at home.

Private schools also function with less bureaucracy due to the private funding. Private schools also invariably offer smaller class sizes, which have been determined to be one of the leading factors for determining student success. As they are not tied to government funding, private schools are also able to determine their own curriculum, which gives teachers more flexibility and can be more tailored to the student. For example, private schools are also not mandated to administer state standardized tests, further increasing flexibility and allowing more student-directed (rather than test-directed) learning.

Consider Religion

Another key difference between public versus some private schools is the presence of religion. Public schools, being funded by public funds, cannot incorporate any religion into the curriculum, while private schools are either parochial or non-religious. We here at St. Cecelia’s believe that a strong spiritual formation based on the traditions and values of the Catholic Church is an excellent foundation for our students’ academic success. It enables us to build a community focused on respecting and serving others.

What is best for your family?

Aside from the above considerations, the choice of what school is right for your child should be based not on public versus private but instead on what school feels right to your family and best supports your values and your child’s individual needs. The best way to get a feel for what St. Cecelia’s has to offer is to come in for a tour. Please contact us today at (727) 461-1207 and allow us to show you why we believe we are the premier provider of academic excellence and faith filled education in the Clearwater community.


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