Public Schools Versus Private School Funding

Patrica Hawke

California Public schools always get the short end of the stick when it comes to school funding. Because public schools are free for students to attend, the budget cuts always come first and more intensely on the public schools. They are forced to lay off teachers, increase class size, cut student programs and lay off other school administrators. Private schools are always last to get budget cuts because they are for profit and parents pay the school for their children to be able to attend. Private schools are known for having more rigorous classes, which challenge students more so than public school classes. Private schools are also known to be stricter enforcing things such as dress code, student behavior and student expectations such as homework and class attendance. This is why parents pay money to have their children go to schools that are private and for profit. What statistics are now showing is that less students are graduating from private schools than from public schools and the school funding is beginning to reform the way they deal with budget cuts.

Instead of budget cuts mainly affecting students that attend public schools, they are now making it so that private schools are affected as well. Because of the low graduation rates in private schools the California Student Aid commission decided to put for profit schools at the bottom of the priority list when California is forced to make budget cuts. In a way it makes it fairer to the public schools because it gives them a better chance at receiving student aid towards college, where in the past it went towards private schools first. Because public schools in are so greatly affected by budget cuts, the first items on the line when it comes to budget cuts are the teachers. This is a great disservice to the public school students because by having fewer teachers, this means bigger class sizes for the students. The more students in the class, the less individualized attention the students get from the teachers. This is not good because students all learn differently and some students need more attention from the teachers than other students. Not only are students affected by larger classrooms because of budget cuts, they are also affected because their schools extracurricular activities are cut. While with private schools, they have many extracurricular activities to choose from including sports and clubs and many more fun after school activities to join, the private school students are more involved in the school. Because of the lack of funds public schools are getting the students get less opportunity to participate in the school.

There has always been controversy weather public school or private school was better for children to attend. With the current economy it seems even the for profit schools are becoming affected by the current school budget crisis. Although they aren’t being affected as much as the public schools are, they still are starting to feel the realities of the economy.

Patricia Hawke is a staff writer for Schools K-12, providing free, in-depth reports on all U.S. public and private K-12 schools. For more information please visit California School Rankings and Public School Rankings