Your child’s education is one of the most critical factors that will shape their worldview and future. The most fundamental challenge parents face when deciding between private vs. public education is cost. Public schools, of course, do not have tuition costs, and private schools can be an added expense. However, the value and benefits of private education outweigh the cost. Value-based systems, challenging academics, and smaller class sizes are all aspects parents have found attractive in private education.
Raising The Bar
One advantage to private schools is that students can be challenged to a higher academic standard. While each private schools’ methods may differ in curriculum and style, there is a consensus that coursework is more rigorous than its public counterpart. According to The Condition of Education 2001, from the National Center for Education Statistics, “Private high schools typically have more demanding graduation requirements than do public high schools. Compared, with public schools, private schools required more coursework (in 4-year high school programs).”
Private school students have been shown to produce better quality of work that translates to greater levels of performance in higher education. In recent NAEP reports, students in grades four, eight, and twelve score
significantly higher than the national averages. In 2002, reports showed that students in all three grades who attended non-public schools had higher average writing scores than students who attended public schools.
Smaller Class Sizes
Private schools tend to maintain smaller class sizes. This gives students opportunities for more one-on-one attention, more significant interaction with peers and teachers, and a sense of belonging. These can all lead to
greater academic success. Students feel more open to being a part of discussions and work more closely with teachers and instructors to further their understanding.
Accessibility and Special Needs
Along with smaller class sizes, special-needs students are given more attention. While many may never meet the academic standards of their peers, they still have the capability to learn. Sadly, many of these students have never been given the academic attention they need due to their disabilities. Many challenges are present in a special-needs student’s journey. However, we have seen students who were told elsewhere that they would never accomplish certain educational standards learn to, not only meet those standards, but surpass them.
Some were told they would never read, write, or comprehend their material. By God’s grace, we were a part of proving those things were not true. Through personal and one-on-one teaching, non-verbal students have become verbal and learned to communicate more effectively.
Because of the private nature of private education, there are more costs associated than with public education. In Florida, average private education costs range from $9,595 to $10,549 per year. While these numbers can be intimidating to some, the State of Florida is unique in offering help to private schools. Scholarships like StepUp for Students and the AAA Scholarship help families afford private education. These scholarships are income-based, and the income requirements can vary from year to year. Be sure to visit their website to see if your family meets the criteria.
Private schools often put a major emphasis on personal values. First Place Academy believes in teaching through a biblical worldview and helping students and their families put God’s Word first place in their lives.
Students do not have to be a Christian to attend. Still, they will hear the Gospel, memorize Scripture, and learn the practical applications of Scripture daily. We desire to teach God’s Word so students and families may come to
know Jesus Christ as their Lord, obey His Word, and find that obedience brings blessings.
Discipline and Safety
Private schools are known for having discipline and order. Proper discipline, especially from a Biblical viewpoint, teaches children self-control, leading to responsible parents, members of society, and, more importantly, adults who love God. At First Place Academy, our mission is to train young minds to pursue lives that are obedient to the Scriptures. We believe wisdom, character, and morality all come from one source
outside of ourselves – God.
In general, private schools are not required to earn the same certifications as public school teachers. Naturally, this concerns some parents. Parents should feel secure in knowing some private schools are very selective on the staff they hire, and some educators have training in the subjects they teach. FPA even takes a modern approach to traditional education. We have hybrid classrooms where students are taught via video Master Teachers and are given one-on-one help from on-site teachers in their classrooms to reinforce the material taught.
Parents at private schools are more involved in students’ lives and school activities. Families become a part of a network of families that share a common goal of educating their students and being safe. Students find the smaller, tight-knit classrooms more comfortable with less pressure from peers and other influences. Students are cared for by teachers giving more opportunities for mentorship and discipleship.
No matter your beliefs or opinions, you have a choice. The State of Florida believes in offering families the choice to educate their children how they see best. However, private education may not be for every student, and that is okay. The important thing is YOU have a choice. If you would like to tour our facilities or know more about our school, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be glad to help!