Another continuing battle in the world of education and politics is public versus private education. The arguments for and against each are compelling. This is another one of those debates where there is no winner or loser, right or wrong, though there are those who disagree. We’ll present each side of the argument without taking one side or the other.
The obvious arguments for a private education is the quality of that education itself, or at least so the supporters say. Supposedly, a child who goes to a private school gets better teachers, newer books, individualized attention, smaller classes and the so called better class of person to share his pencil case with. The person who goes to a private school doesn’t have to worry about being picked on by bullies. Private schools are simply the ideal utopia for your young child.
The arguments for public education are not as obvious, especially with all the bad press that most public schools get. But one thing that most people don’t realize about public schools that is not true about private schools is that a teacher must be certified by the local educational association. This is not true about private schools. So while the general theory is that you will get a better quality of teacher in a private school simply because of the nature of the school itself, this is not necessarily true.
But the biggest argument for public education really comes down to money and the community. Unfortunately, the money that is allocated to a public school is based on the attendance of that school. If that majority of students in the area go to private schools then the attendance at public schools drops which causes a drop in their funding. This doesn’t just affect the school system itself but the community as well. The less money the schools get, the less money the community gets. What then happens is that the children who go to the public schools don’t get the education that they are entitled to because they don’t have enough money.
This leaves the parents of the child about to attend school with a difficult decision to make and that’s only if they are even aware of this problem. And that is where the problem itself begins. Parents are not informed. They think that sending their children to private schools doesn’t affect them any more than just the money they have to pay for their education itself. In the process of doing this they are taking money away from their community and ultimately lowering the standard of living in the community.
For everything in life there is always a trade off. The debate between public and private education will continue, with both sides fighting hard to get their share of the pie; public schools fighting for more funding and private schools fighting for vouchers so that more kids can afford to go to private schools. The truth is, until these two institutions can find a way to coexist with each other, there will be no winner in this war.
By: Michael Russell
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