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Cost Benefit Analysis: Public Schools Vs Private Schools

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There are many types of schools in the world, but the two types of schools that some, if not, many parents always struggle to decide to enroll their kids in, are public schools or public schools. There’s always a debate or argument somewhere, talking about whether or not if it’s better to enroll the child in public or private schools, debating whether or not the grade system is different, uniforms or non-uniforms, after school activities, the price of the school, the list goes on. As you read on, you will we see the costs and benefits on both private and public schools, and you can decide whether or not which option is better. Benefits of Option A – Public Schools Many people wonder about the benefits of public schools. What will the school offer? What will the classes be like? The first thing to look at when researching public schools, is the availability, and it’s said that public schools can’t turn down a student based on academic performances, their level of income, or any disabilities they may have. This can also tie in with Diversity as well, which is another topic. Public schools can take in all children in a community, resulting in every student ending up in a classroom with different kids who will most likely not act or think alike. Since there are so many kids from different backgrounds, students are more likely to have their culture or income levels to become exposed. Everyone can work with others, even if they have any kind of mental or physical disabilities. ​ While befriending different students, parents wonder if public schools offer activities that can reach out to the interest of the students. Thus leading into Academic/Extracurricular activities. For the academic opportunities at public schools, it gives the students an option to take more advanced classes or even take courses that are specialized in subjects that relate/teach technology or arts.

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Let’s not forget the gifted and talented after school activities, relating to extracurricular. These could be any class along the lines of, theater, culinary classes, chess club, piano lessons, choir etc. Just keep in mind, not all public schools have every class under the sun, some extracurricular activities can be limited due to budget. Of course, aside from all that, there’s always more than one public school in a county, this goes for elementary schools, middle schools, and highschools. It is stated by law, that public schools are required to educate students, and each student will be assigned to different zones or districts. Students are assigned a public school based on the location of the family, and which school is closer. This follows through by a call to the school and filling out the necessary forms, once a family has for sure, settled on the public school in which they want their child to attend. Costs of Option A – Public Schools Not all public schools are paradise, they do have their flaws as well, whether it’s the school itself, the teachers, or other students. One of the top issues that students seem to deal with at school, is bullying and violence. Studies have shown that almost 28% of kids from ages 8 to 12 have reported being bullied, this is according by the National Center for Education Statistics that was compiled in 2009. There’s a higher percentage of public schools that students report being bullied, than in private schools. Another study that was conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, it was revealed that almost 50 percent of public schools have reported at least one threat or attack against a student, without a weapons, and 8 percent with a weapon. Although bullying is something to worry about, it doesn’t happen everyday. What does happen everyday are the disproportionate resources. Meaning that yes, some of the public schools funding comes from the government, a lot of the funding comes from local taxes, and this gives the students an advantage over their lower income peers. Schools that are in the Seattle Public School district for example, have the advantage with giving funds to music teachers and other programs that have supplemental needs. Whereas, schools with lower incomes, cannot. ​ Lastly, you have the test taking to meet the requirements.

Since it seems that test results are the only way that the government measures to be accountable. It doesn’t matter the state, the students will often take lengthy tests, and highschool students must take cumulative, highstake tests. A test that must be taken for highschool students, in order to receive a diploma, would be an exit exam. Which can take over eight hours to complete, and can be very stressful. Benefits of Option B – Private Schools Before you consider enrolling your child in a public school, just remember, there are other options of schools. Private schools, what are the benefits of private schools? Like public schools, private schools do have academic opportunities, but the opportunities are more enriched. An example of an academic program would be working on developing yourself as a whole person. This can tie in with the sizes of the classes. Classes in private schools are much smaller, and the smaller the class, the better the student performs on the homework and tests. As we all know, when you perform good in a class/test/exams, you can participate in extracurricular activities. Extracurricular activities in private schools are the usual sports, music, arts and clubs. The participation from students in any of these clubs actually help stimulate the students so that they perform better in their studies. Students who perform in the arts, become more motivated to learn, and are more likely to win an award for school attendance. The after school activities can also help reduce stress from classes, and help the students gain social skills with others. This can help create a safe environment. Private schools maintain very high standards when it comes to discipline and respect. The ratios between a lower staff and students allow a more effective observation on school grounds. Since the community of a private school is so strong, it most definitely discourages any dangerous behavior. In the Fraser Institute study, it is said that around 70 – 72 percent of of parents have surveyed with students who attend private schools, strongly agree that the school is safe. This improves the quality of educational experiences and achievements. Costs of Option B – Private Schools Most people think that private schools are the dream schools, but if you’re not careful when looking into private schools, you could potentially end up sending your child to one that could be a mismatch. As we all know, children grow up, and because everyone is in a different position in school, and not everyone can fit in with every school, thus leaving the student feel like an outcast. This can also be a case in which a school can be insular, and that’s usually when a school forms around a specific culture, and that can always draw attention to a certain student or family. Another cost of a private school are the teachers, because the teachers aren’t fully trained, they’re just expected to have enough knowledge to teach their given subject. The school will sometimes accept several teachers only if they are capable of delivering the knowledge required. Which means they would deny the students want for an extracurricular activity that could help them build up their skills. Since the teachers are not trained, they will continue teaching a way, without giving real world issues that might have a better visual for the students, as an example. This makes the student achieve nothing. This could make it hard to take exams, since all exams must be passed in order to stay in the school.

All students are required to take an entrance exam before they can proceed for an admission. This can have a demand of extra charges, and it can also discourage the student that is in seek of a transfer, because the school can demand a repeat. Most private schools actually do not allow the admission of a student who is disabled, as they aim to only enroll students who are physically fit, so they can carry the learning process. This is only to minimize the work that’s to be executed. Option A vs Option B At this point in time, after explaining the differences between public schools and private schools, it’s probably time to compare which one is better by narrowing things down. Since most parents seem to send their kids to public schools, you might already be thinking about how Option A is the better one, but also keep in mind, many other parents send their kids to private schools. To start, let’s just say public schools allow their students to have a little bit more freedom than in private schools. Since in private schools, you seem to be a lot more limited with what you can do. The main importance is the diversity of kids, because for a school, allowing different students from different races and ethnicities of all kinds, and that shows that this school is friendly and welcoming rather than only allowing certain students because of an entrance exam. Leading into the teaching ways, they are both different. Yes, the teachers at both schools teach their specified subject the same way every year, but for private schools, because the teachers only need a certain amount of knowledge and not trained to teach, it makes learning much harder for the students. Whereas teachers in public schools offer a variety of examples of problem solvings or the learning session, since they know every student has weaknesses and strengths. Speaking of strengths and weaknesses, one big weakness of public schools is the bullying that goes around. It doesn’t matter how many students are welcomed, who they are as a person, almost everyone is bullied by someone. No one is perfect. The way I see a private school, I see people in uniforms, so that means everyone is somewhat the same, no one stands out. Yet there will always be a way to find a flaw in someone in order to get bullied, as well. Every school should have a high enough level of respect for both teachers and students, and the level of discipline and respect is extremely high in private schools.

Other than detention, I don’t agree, or anyone shouldn’t agree that students should be disciplined, like expulsion for example. Comparing both schools, students shouldn’t be expelled for bad behavior, because that’s teaching them that if they do something bad, no school for them, and there’s already enough students out there who don’t like school anyways. So in a way, that’s a positive for them. Decision and Conclusion By looking at the comparison between public schools and private schools, keep in mind that everyone has their own opinion. Some people would prefer private schools because of the higher standards they offer, yet others would prefer public schools because of the welcoming friendly environment. I would say the proper decision would be to enroll your child into a public school. You have a variety of kids from different cultures, you get a proper learning experience from teachers, and you have more options when it comes to the extracurricular activities. Although the flaws are another thing to think about, with the lack of school fundings for certain teachers or class, or the bullying, but if I were a parent, I’d rather send my child to school that meets the proper requirements, instead of a school where you fade into the crowd, or gaining not a lot of knowledge and then proceed to take stressful exams. Look for the more welcoming school than a high standard school. Opportunity Cost An opportunity cost is when you have a loss of potential gains from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen. As both schools are expensive, it’d be a waste of money for enrolling you child in a private school, because the child has to take an entrance exam first, and then they’ll find out if they’re accepted, if they fail, then they can’t get in. Why bother spending money on a school and betting whether or not if you’re child will get in, which is why public schools are the better option.


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  2. https://classroom.synonym.com/advantages-disadvantages-public-schools-8234685.
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01 February 2021

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