The choice of an elementary school for a child, is for most parents, one of the most important decisions they will make as parents. This choice is particularly more difficult in this generation because of the plethora of choices to be made. These choices are at two major levels. On one level is the public, private or charter school choice while the second level is a more granular choice from the options available to each of first level choice. The choice between a public, private or charter school requires defining and understanding all three choices
Public schools are generally government run and mostly local government or municipally run, hence the municipality with the richest demographics will have the best elementary schools. This is because public elementary schools are funded by property taxes and the municipality with the wealthiest demographics tend to have the most expensive homes. If you live is such a municipality, then the choice of a public school is a very good one since generally the best public elementary schools compete favorably well with the best private or charter schools. However, if you do not live in a wealthy municipality, the choice of good public elementary schools quickly degrades and it is generally in good sense to look at private and charter schools as viable options.
Private Schools vs Charter Schools
Charter schools are a recent innovation and involves a hybrid of public and private elementary schools. Unlike in public elementary schools, parents do carry some of the costs of running these schools however, they are significantly cheaper than private schools. The argument used to establish charter schools include but not limited to, testing out teaching innovations in a small microcosm that will eventually be implemented in the larger public school system. The jury is still out on if this has been the case since charter schools were invented.
Private schools are generally seen as the best of the 3 school system but also very much more expensive. It is not unheard of for some private schools to cost north of $30,000 per year. However, you don’t need to spend this much to get good quality private elementary school education. There are many great private schools that cost much less if you do your research.