When you talk about public schools in the United States, you’re not just referring to one type of institution. In fact, there are three, and each has its pros and cons. To help you decide which are the most appropriate for your children, learn more about them here:
1. District Schools
These are public schools operated by a government created solely for the administration and operations of such schools. Whether they are independent or dependent, a school board runs them. They attract a huge enrollment since they don’t discriminate students and are found near residential areas. They also receive their funding straight from the Government.
District schools, however, are under a huge pressure to meet certain baseline requirements. Moreover, inadequate funding may force districts to consolidate schools, which means student-teacher ratio and class size can dramatically increase. This may then affects the children’s chances to learn.
2. Magnet Schools
Established around the 1970s, magnet schools continue to promote racial diversity by giving more emphasis on academic excellence. Compared to district schools, this type of school can focus on a particular study or interest, such as math, science, or arts.
Despite the huge interest, there are only few magnet schools in the country, which usually force these schools to accept students based on the lottery system.
3. Charter Schools
Contrary to popular belief, charter schools are still public learning institutions. City Academy in Salt Lake City, Utah is a good example. Nevertheless, they can also receive funding from private individuals and may be established by for-profit agencies. In a 2009 study conducted by the University of Michigan, students who attend charter schools are more likely to complete high school and proceed to college.
Another study revealed those students also have a higher chance of graduating from college and getting a higher earning. These could be because charter schools are often small and have higher academic accountability.
Many, however, criticized inappropriate charter spending, with some giving priorities to stakeholders than students. When choosing a charter school, ask how they are spending their funding on children.
Which public school should you pick? In the end, your child’s overall well-being should be the primary consideration. Get as much information as possible before making a decision.