According to recent figures, there are 33,619 private schools in the United States, enrolling and educating 5.4 million students from PK to 12th. Grade. Almost 80% of those institutions are affiliated to a religious denomination, Catholic being the most predominant in that sector.
Although the enrollment to private schools seems to be declining (there is a 2% decline from over a 15 year period) and the United States Department of education thinks it unlikely it will be reversed, private schooling for many families is the only way to approach education.
What are some of the benefits families look for when they send their child to a private school?
- Small classes-according to reviews of private schools in the United States, and the philosophy of what education means for many families, the size of small classrooms play an important role in the decision to send them to a private school or not. Many families believe teachers get to know their children better when the class size is small and can form a better relationship with their child.
- Better Learning – With class size being small, teaching and engaging your child has to be easier than the public schools.
- Religion – Many families send their children to private religious-affiliated schools because of their beliefs, and because they want their children around other religious-minded children.
- Ivy League Universities – Many private institutions believe they are preparing the children to attend ivy league colleges and universities after their graduation at their schools, and their teaching is usually geared to this purpose.
- Accountability – Private Institutions like every public school are required to adhere to the laws governing the education of children, but ultimately, they are accountable to their boards and most importantly to the parents of their students.
Whatever your belief about the education of your child, you have to keep in mind that many of these institutions want a diverse group of students and can offer financial aid to offset the cost of attending their school.
If you believe sending your child to a private school is the difference between a good or a great education, by all means, finding the right school for your child is of the utmost importance. One thing to remember before you sign papers and write the first check is that your child will be the one attending the school. If he/she expresses any misgivings about the school, you must listen and pay attention to him/her. A great school can be great for other children, but may not be a great fit for your child. Finding the right fit for them and for you is your highest concern.