Public vs Private

What are the differences between public and private schools?

The debate rages on this subject. What's better for my child? How do you compare private and public schools when they are so disparate? Many parents have a bias one way or another. Some assume that private schools offer superior learning, justifying their tuition costs. Other parents contend that public schools provide more real-life experiences or, in some cases, more-developed specialty programs in athletics or science.

Public Schools

Public schools get their financing from local, state, and federal government funds. In most cases, they must admit all students who live within the borders of their district.

Chartered Schools
Charter schools began appearing in the early 90s. They are autonomous, "alternative" public schools started by parents, teachers, community organizations, and for-profit companies. These schools receive tax dollars but the sponsoring group must also come up with private funding. Charter schools must adhere to the basic curricular requirements of the state but are free from many of the regulations that apply to conventional schools and the day-to-day scrutiny of school boards and government authorities. Considered cutting edge, charter schools usually challenge standard education practices and sometimes specialize in a particular area, such as technology, the arts, or a back-to-basics core-subjects approach. Some charter schools are specifically for gifted or high-risk kids. They usually offer smaller classes and more individual attention than conventional public schools. To find out more about charter schools and where to find them in your area, visit the U.S. Charter Schools Web site. http:// or visit for more information from US Department of Education. Use the following links to find information about the best Chartered Schools: - KIPP and YES are highly ranked chartered schools in Houston.

Magnet Schools
Magnet schools are highly competitive, highly selective public schools renowned for their special programs, superior facilities, and high academic standards. They may specialize in a particular area, such as science or the arts. Students who apply to these schools go through a rigorous testing and application process. Some magnet schools have boarding facilities to allow students from out of state to attend. Magnet schools were first launched in the late 1970s to help desegregate public school systems by encouraging children to attend schools outside their neighborhoods. Student diversity is still an explicit goal of most magnet schools. To find rankings on Magnet schools,

Public Schools by City

Private Schools

Although private schools are not free, they do provide you with extra benefits over public schools, including: a more challenging curriculum, emphasis on discipline, access to certified quality teachers, and availability to modern teaching methods. Private schools also provide you the benefit of allowing you to reside in any area of the city you wish. Buses can be arranged to pick up your child from wherever you may live. Also, just in case you're wondering about costs, many private schools offer financial assistance to cover tuition.

Independent Schools
Independent schools are private, nonprofit schools governed by elected boards of trustees. This category includes such famous private schools as Andover and Exeter. Independent schools draw their funds from tuition payments, charitable contributions, and endowments rather than from taxes or church funds. Please visit: for more information on independent schools

Parochial Schools
Parochial schools are church-related schools, most commonly owned and operated by Catholic parishes or dioceses but also by Protestant denominations. Hebrew schools may also be termed parochial. The majority of the private schools in the United States are parochial schools. The academic curriculum at these schools is supplemented with required daily religious instruction and prayer.

Proprietary schools
Proprietary schools are private schools that are run for profit. This is a relatively new category of school. They do not answer to any board of trustees or elected officials. Because of this they claim to be able to respond quickly to the demands of the market. Many belong to an organization called the National Independent Private Schools Association. Tuition is comparable to that of private, nonprofit schools. Please visit for more information on Proprietary school

Private Schools by City