Public Schools (VS) Private schools. Apples and Oranges

In public education on February 23, 2009 at 7:26 pm

9:51 raises the old question about how excellent private and parochial schools can offer lower tuition than per student public school costs.

The answers are quite simple:
– They do fund raisers to help defray tuition costs.
– They get donations that help defray tuition costs.
– They are able to reject students that have special needs. Remember some special needs students are placed out of district and can cost in excess of $100,00 per year.
– Most state mandated programs don’t apply to them.
– They underpay highly qualified and professional teachers. Many teachers are happy to teach for lower pay in exchange for less disruption and bureaucracy.
– They don’t have to have the phalanx of support personnel to deal with behavior issues. Their behavior issues leave and come back to the public schools.

While not all of these things are bad, they do make things very different for private schools. Apples and oranges?

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  2. –They don’t have to have the phalanx of support personnel to deal with behavior issues. Their behavior issues leave and come back to the public schools.–

    Public schools wouldn’t have the cost associated with “behavior issues” if they just tracked the kids like they did twenty years ago. Heterogeneous groups and mainstreaming is part of the reason almost every classroom gets an aide.

  3. Blah, blah, blah. All those excuses are tired and worn.

    Shall we take them point for point.

    1.) Fund raisers. Like our HSA’s aren’t perpetually fund raising.

    2.) They get donations to defray tuition costs. We have way too many administrators. And we spend way more per student.

    3.) Special Needs Students. The $13,500.00 per student cost does not take into account spending for Special Ed students.

    4.) Most state mandated programs don’t apply to them. That is because most state mandated programs have nothing to do with educating children but were created by special interest groups. Privatization would relieve schools from these cumbersome nuisances.

    5.) Underpay teachers in exchange for less disruption and bureaucracy. There is obviously no retort to bureaucracy for that is a major problem with our public schools.

    As for poor discipline, the free market would correct that issue. Schools for such children would come online instantly.

    6.) Ahhh, there’s the rub. Private schools don’t have the “phalanx of support personnel to deal with behavior issues.” See #5.

    Your premise is based on an out dated paradigm for providing education, not one in which market forces would correct and fill any void left from privatizing education and creating competition.

    Apples and oranges? The apples are rotting.

  4. Does any parent send their child to a Catholic school because they desire a more spiritual environment in which the child can grow?

  5. I hated every minute of my 12 years of Catholic school. There is no way I would put my daughters through that!

  6. Why is public school such an awful way to try to get a real education? On this Blog, I mostly see posts about administrators. Rarely are teachers even mentioned.

    The problem is mostly created by district level administrators. There are too many of them and they are too intellectually challenged. They interfere to the point of altering any good that could come from a well-meaning school based teacher or principal. They are also too politically ideological and they do not put the quality of the education product first. They are the problem. They are the rotten apples.

    Private schools avoid hiring such people. They usually hire competent and talented teachers and then they LEAVE THEM ALONE.

  7. 6:09pm

    Catholic schools provide a small learning environment, which is also spiritual.

    Catholic schools are different from thirty years ago, there are no nuns, and religion is taught along side evolution(yes, evolution.)

    Catholic schools may teach grammar and history better than public, but their real value is the small learning environment and high expectations of what each child can achieve.

  8. From Sol Stern, City Journal

    “Through a laserlike focus on a no-frills, core academic curriculum, and by resisting progressive-education fads, Rice takes most of the students who enter in ninth grade—many of them two years behind in reading and math—and gradually gets them up to grade level.

    The kids pass most of the necessary state Regents exams. There are no Jaime Escalante miracles here, no AP calculus whiz kids. But Rice’s graduation rate is a legitimate 90 percent, compared with the public schools’ rate of 50 to 60 percent—despite per-pupil spending in the city’s public high schools triple that of Rice’s. Most Rice graduates go on to some form of higher education.

    School-reform experts often argue that money is overrated as a factor in school improvement. For the most part, I agree. But in the case of Rice High School and most of the other Catholic schools in the city, money is the issue. With a little extra each year, we could almost guarantee that Rice will go on doing an excellent job of educating at-risk black boys far into the twenty-first century, just as it educated underprivileged white boys throughout the twentieth century. I estimate that if the city’s Catholic schools could get just 1 percent of the budget for the public schools, there would be no more Catholic-school closings. And if the people and political leaders of this wealthy city can’t figure out how to get such a small amount of money into the Catholic schools, Patrick McCloskey’s inspired book can serve as a requiem for one of New York’s most noble institutions.”

  9. Parents in inner city districts are begging to have their children attend Catholic schools. And for the most part, these kids are not Catholic.

    One must ask, why is this so? Could it be they know that a public school education is inferior?

    The real crime is that politicians would rather use the teachers’ union to funnel campaign funds into their election coffers than provide an education for their constituents.

    It is a double edged sword, it keeps politicians in office and a whole population of people unable to fend for themselves, thus ensuring one’s re-election and the other’s dependency on government.

    It is a vicious cycle. And it is morally wrong.

  10. 7:52 it is more than “morally wrong.” It is evil.

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