The debate between public and private schools seems to be an ongoing argument. While each have their pros and cons, it is safe to say one is not necessarily better than the other. When parents look to decide where they want their children to go the question really isn’t what is better, but what you’re looking to get out of it.

Roughly 10% of students in the U.S. attend private schools. Parents usually enroll children in private schools for a variety of reasons. Religion, single-sex education, flexible curriculum are just a few reasons for private schools. The ability to create their own curricula can be a double edge sword when looking into the quality of education being provided. Since the tuition being paid directly funds the schools this independence can foster a lower standard in education in order to maintain enrollment. Private schools do not need to have certified teachers, therefore can create problems when your child needs special attention and cannot be provided. However, private schools have the ability to provide smaller class sizes, encouraging student involvement and a more personalized education for your child. Private schools are proven to be more accepting of minorities and better prepared to combat bullying. Private schools are also known to have their students score higher on standardized tests. These schools provide a network pool that are able to prepare students when entering the workforce.

90% of students in the U.S. are enrolled in public schools according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Public schools, like charter schools, offer the structure of private schools without the cost. Magnet schools are public schools that require a higher academic standard and a competitive admission like private schools. Public schools do have a much larger class size and less flexibility in curriculum as well as more regulations and rules. Going to public schools will save parents money and the guarantee that there is a set standard that need to be held. The teachers must be state-certified, and the schools must offer special education programs for those that require. Public schools are more diverse and help students learn how to interact with those of different cultural backgrounds.

There is no definite answer as to what a better choice is. Both have their pros and cons and mainly depend on what will be best for your child. For parents who cannot afford private schools, there are many different options. For example, magnet schools and charter schools that offer a different structure than public schools. There are many different ways to provide kids with a great education. It’s all about doing your due diligence and knowing what your child will benefit the most from.