A private school is generally independent in its governance and finances. Also called private schools, private, non-government, or privately funded schools, these schools are not funded by the state, federal government or municipal governments. They are usually run by non-profit organizations that are dedicated to the education of children from all backgrounds and socioeconomic levels.
Private schools offer a curriculum designed to meet the unique needs of each individual child and are subject to their home communities and districts’ requirements. There are various options for private schools from which to choose, but in most cases the curriculum and the teaching method are essentially the same as those used at public schools. Schools are typically divided by the number of students or grades enrolled. There are private elementary, secondary, and higher learning institutions where students may enroll.
Private schools offer a variety of subjects such as art, music, history, math, science, foreign language, computer technology and even physical education. Private schools are usually independent and self-governing in their governance and are governed by a different set of policies and rules for enrollment, discipline, teacher pay, and other aspects of their operations. It is important that parents carefully review the school district policy on enrollment and teacher pay before enrolling a child at a private school.
Private schools also differ from traditional public schools in that they do not receive government funds for the classroom environment. This means that private schools do not have to pay rent, utility bills, and other expenses for providing an appropriate educational environment for their students. The costs associated with maintaining a private school include the cost of building materials, furniture, maintenance, and the cost of supplies. All of this has to be paid for on a cost-recovery basis as opposed to a fee-for-service basis. Private schools may also have their own athletic programs and equipment, which can be expensive. Private schools do not have the same opportunities to obtain federal funds as traditional public schools.
Parents often wonder how private schools can afford to have so many amenities and programs when they don’t receive government funds. Private schools have the flexibility to be more liberal in the type of curriculum, instructor availability and cost of materials and other things that they teach their students, but they do need to make sure that they get adequate funding from local, state, federal and/or municipal governments.
Parents should also compare the quality of the curriculum taught at private schools with the public school that their children attend. Private schools may offer some of the best academic resources, but they will likely cost more money, which could cause some families to choose not to go to a private school, but to go to a public one instead.