Mainly, there are two types of schools from which parents can choose to take their children. They include public schools and private schools. Public schools are owned by the state (public) while private schools are owned and run by private individuals (developers).the decision to take a child to either a public or a private school is based on a number of factors which include the cost of education and the standards of education at the institutions among others. Are private schools better than public schools? In answering the above question, I will base my argument on a number of factors which include facilities, class size, teaching, budgets and administrative support among others.
Due to the fact that public schools take almost every child in its locality, they have very much large class sizes compared to private schools. Sometimes, the class sizes are more than forty students per class. On the other hand, private schools have smaller class sizes. In fact some private schools have achieved a student: teacher ratio of 15:1.this is due to the fact that there are fewer students in these schools. Most pupils are taken to public schools making them to become crowded. As they become more and more crowded parents start opting for smaller private schools so that their children can have one on one attention form their teachers. Private schools also offer more college focused education to their students. They therefore encourage students to be more focused on going to college. On the other hand, the public schools’ philosophy is that children are talented in different ways and that not everybody can go to college. Though students in public schools may strive on their own to go to college, they are not pushed in that direction. Due to the level of attention given to students in private schools, the level of drug abuse in these schools is smaller compared to the one in public schools (About .com).
The main source of funding for public schools is the government. Sometimes the level of funding is not adequate for the various needs of the schools. Consequently, such schools have inferior quality facilities compared to private schools. The ability of private schools to attract funding from various sources is of paramount importance in funding the acquisition of high quality facilities. In fact, some private schools have facilities that are superior to those found in many colleges and universities. Such facilities include modern libraries and athletic facilities. Due to the increased funding, private schools are able to equip their libraries with the latest books and modern research materials. This means that learners in private learning institutions are in a position to acquire quality education through better research. Schools are also able to buy modern sporting facilities and to expose students to various kinds of sports and games. Therefore, students are able to keep fit during their schooling. Consequently, this translates to better results. On the other hand, one can rarely find comparable facilities in public schools and if there are, they are usually scattered and few. The only public schools that have high quality facilities are those found in urban areas (intelligence.com).
The public sector teachers are generally better paid compared to those in the private sector. Their compensation widely depends on the economic situation prevailing in their areas of residence. Unfortunately, the government offers very low starting salaries for teachers. Annual increases in salaries for teachers are also very low. Consequently, the public sector is not able to retain high quality teachers due to the high turn over. The public sector also pays more benefits compared to private schools. However, the dramatic increase in health and pension costs since the year 2000 has forced the teachers to pay more and more for their benefits and hence they are left with very little money after all the statutory deductions. On the other hand, compensation for teachers in private schools varies from one school to the other and financial resources endowment. One of the most important benefits found in private schools is housing and meals. Private schools also have pension schemes for their staff though they vary widely from school to school. Even though teachers in public schools are better paid compared to those in private schools, the inability of the schools to retain high quality teachers erodes on the quality of teaching. Furthermore, most public schools do not effectively supervise their teachers to ensure that proper attention is given to students. The teachers are also not motivated to deliver quality results. This makes private schools to be better as far as teaching is concerned. Private schools hire teachers with advanced qualifications in their areas of specialization. For example, a private school interested in hiring a German language teacher will hire a teacher with a German language degree as opposed to an education degree with a minor in German language. On the other hand, public schools tend to hire teachers with just basic qualifications such as a degree in education. This means that in the long run, students in private schools will get better quality education compared with those in public schools (Brunson 226).
As earlier stated, the main source of money for running public schools is the government. This is mainly through local property taxes. This means that the yearly school budget exercise is a major fiscal and political business .Therefore, for schools found in poor communities or communities whose voters mainly rely on fixed incomes, little room is left for response to budget requests within the framework of expected tax revenue. This means that in most cases, some of the students and teachers needs in such schools go un -attended and therefore this negatively affects the quality of education. On the other hand, private schools have various sources from which they attract funding. The schools can charge tuition, they can also raise money though development activities, soliciting of funds from the alumnae and soliciting of funding from foundations and corporations. This means that private schools are better placed to respond to the needs of their students and teachers (Richard 125).
The bigger and more complex the level of bureaucracy is, the harder it becomes to get decisions made. If the decisions are made at all, then it takes a lot of time. The public education system is characterized by antiquated work rules and exaggerated bureaucracy. This is mainly caused by union contracts and political influences. On the other hand, private schools have leaner management structures. This makes decision making faster. This is especially so because private schools don’t have staff unions to deal with.
The cost of educating a child in a private school is very much high compared to that of educating a child in public school. This is because private schools have to fund themselves and do not have to expect funding from elsewhere. This means that all the burden of running the schools is transferred to the parents making the tuition fees to be very high. On the other hand: public schools access funding from the government. Consequently, the cost of education in public school is far much low (Keith 140).
Despite the fact that educating a child in a private school is very expensive, the high cost is justified by the many benefits that accrue there from. The quality of education is the most important factor to consid3er in deciding where one is to educate her child from. Since the quality of education offered in private schools is far much better than the one offered in public schools, then it is no doubt that private schools are better than public schools.