Charter School vs Public School: What’s the Difference and How Do You Choose?

With American families sending their kids to charter school at increasing rates, you may be considering what’s best for your children.

This is a question that many parents are struggling with, especially with the Trump administration emphasizing school choice.

If you’re trying to decide between charter school vs public school, here are some key things to keep in mind.

What’s the Difference Between Charter School vs Public School?

There are many similarities between public and charter schools. Cost is a notable similarity, as well as the need for government funding for both schools. But, there are some key differences.

One key difference is the availability of spots.

Charter schools are typically smaller than public schools, while the demand may be large. In these cases, schools may use lottery systems or admissions tests when deciding which students to allow into their schools.

There is also a great variety of charter schools.

Some charter schools have religious bases, while others seem to specialize in certain disciplines over others. On top of that, charter schools may allow the option of a K-12 education, whereas public schools are typically split into elementary, middle, and high school.

How Should You Choose?

When choosing the best school for your child, there are many factors to consider and many strategies to take up. If you’re trying to make the decision between charter school vs public school, here are some things to consider.

  1. School Specialties

One of the main reasons why parents choose charter schools over public schools is to hone in on their child’s skill set.

For example, you may want to choose a school that will focus on math if your student’s a math whiz or literature if you think you have the next Ernest Hemingway at home.

Charter schools are still required to meet certain academic principles, so your child will still receive a holistic education. But, some aspects of the curriculum will be emphasized more than others.

  1. College Readiness

If you believe your child is ready to prepare for the next step in their academic career, enrolling them in a college prep charter school may be the right choice.

These schools may offer a curriculum that will help your child improve their college applications and offer SAT prep courses.

  1. Quality

In many cases, parents target charter schools because the quality of the local public schools is not right to their standards.

A good charter school can be considered the best choice for many parents and makes a lot more sense for parents in communities where public schools do not receive as much funding.

Charter School vs Public School: Now What?

Make sure to do plenty of research when deciding between charter school vs public school. Try to understand your child’s needs, as well as the trends seen at schools in your community.

This decision is just one of many important ones that you will have to make for your child. For help on these decisions, or for more family advice in general, be sure to check out our other parenting-oriented articles!

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