It's no secret that the public school system in the United States is suffering. Besides class sizes that are too large, lack of parent involvement, and budget cuts that have decreased funding, many public schools are also facing problems with bullying and misbehaved students. All of these factors prevent children from receiving a proper education. Thankfully, for many parents today, there are other options.
Here are three alternatives to the public school system.
1. Private Schools
According to the Council for American Private Education (CAPE), 10% of all students in the United States attend a private school. These types of schools are usually run by religious institutions or other types of private organizations. Whether it's a private elementary school or private high school, there are many advantages that private schools have to offer over public ones.
Some of these advantages include:
- Classroom sizes are typically smaller
- Emphasis is placed on learning moral values
- Parents are usually more involved
It's important to note that some of the primary drawbacks of private schools are tuition fees and no special education programs.
In recent years, homeschooling has become a very popular option for parents. In 2007, the number of homeschooled children was about 1.5 million, but according to the most recent statistics, about 2.3 million children in the United States receive their education right in their own home.
Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, and there are many reasons parents choose this option. Some of these reasons include:
- Parents can customize their child's curriculum
- Parents can spend more time with their children
- Parents can provide a safe learning environment
Many children who are homeschooled often perform better on achievement tests, college placement tests, and have no problem getting into college.
3. Charter Schools
If you can't pay tuition or don't have the option to homeschool your child, one more alternative is a charter school. While these types of schools are still considered public schools, they allow the parents to have more of a choice in which school to send their child. Even though they are publicly funded, charter schools are independently managed. There are currently 43 states, along with the District of Columbia, that have charter school legislation in place.
According to recent statistics, about 2.7 million children attend charter schools. Many parents feel that children get a more well-rounded education in charter schools because along with textbook learning, they focus on innovation and utilize different models of learning.