What Are Some Pros and Cons of Private and Public Schools?

Public schools have the benefits of being free to all students, mixing children from different backgrounds, and offering standard curricula that focus on English and math. Public schools, however, have several disadvantages due to the large classroom population, disproportional resource allocation and bullying. Private schools have advantages such as smaller class sizes, challenging curricula and more resources. However, they are usually relatively expensive, require an entrance exam and avoid offering special education programs.

Public schools are funded by taxpayer money, which is why they are free to all students. Since people from all socio-economic backgrounds send their children to public schools, they provide children with opportunities to know people from all kinds of backgrounds. Sometimes, there is a wider choice of subjects from which to choose in public schools as well as a variety of extra-curricular activities such as music and theatre.

Public schools have large class populations, which may reduce the frequency of direct teacher-student interactions. The resources allocated to a public school by local authorities vary by location, and public schools in wealthier areas sometimes get more funding than those in poorer areas. Bullying and violence are also major problems in many public schools.

Private schools have smaller class sizes, which allow for frequent direct teacher-student interactions. Private schools also design their own curricula, which may produce well-rounded students with greater chances of college admission, and they sometimes have more resources to provide better facilities.

Private schools are often very expensive; some cost tens of thousands of dollars a year. They often require a prospective student to pass an entrance exam to join. Few private schools offer special education programs, which may lock out students with disabilities.