Difference Between Public Schools And Private Schools
In the most countries, most of the money to support public schools comes from local and state taxes. The federal government also provides some funds, but no more than 10 percent. Some large corporations may also contribute funds for public schools. This money has been used for dropout prevention programs, student scholarships, teacher training, educational research, and other programs.
Each state has the power to regulate its schools, although control over individual schools goes to local school districts. There are nearly 16,000 local school districts in the United States. They range from large city school districts with dozens of schools to small-town or rural districts that have only one school for all children. Many states have laws that allow several school districts within a county to form a single district.
In each public school district, a school board or committee of local residents oversees the operation of the schools. In many places these school board members are elected; in some cities they are appointed. School boards make many decisions concerning local schools. They determine school policies; approve the hiring of staff, including teachers, principals, and others; and approve and gain public support for annual school budgets. They also select a school superintendent to oversee the daily operation of the school system.
As the result of local control, there may be differences between various districts. In some, for instance, there are no kindergartens for 5 year olds. The grade levels may be divided differently among elementary schools, middle schools, and junior high and high schools. Some districts may have vocational programs for students with special interests, such as agriculture.
Although local control has its advantages, it can also have drawbacks. Some less affluent school districts do not have as much money as others to pay for education. Other districts may not be managed well. Local control also makes it difficult to raise standards throughout a state.
Private schools are funded chiefly by tuition and by donations from individuals and organizations. People who pay tuition for private education also pay taxes to support public schools. In the United States, all taxpayers are required to support public schools even though some may not use them. Recently, however, federal and state tax funds have supported some programs at private schools.
Some private schools are run by religious groups. These schools (sometimes called parochial schools) provide religious education in addition to other subjects. Many other private schools are independent and not associated with any other organization or religious group.
Private schools appeal to some parents because they may offer innovative programs or teaching methods, smaller classes, or stricter discipline than public schools. It is easier for them to expel disruptive students. Like public schools, most private schools teach a standard curriculum, or group of subjects.