Choosing the right school for your little one isn’t easy, especially with so many choices. Between public, private, and charter schools, the possibilities are practically endless. Essentially, the main difference between the three types of schools is how they are funded and operated.
Public schools get their financing from government funds, while private schools rely on tuition and donations. Public schools must admit all students who live within the borders of their district, while most children must be accepted into private schools.
Charter schools, on the other hand, are independent schools that are still publicly funded. Charter schools are still considered public because they are funded by the government, but they are operated by parents, teachers, organizations, or non-profit companies. Charter schools often have the benefits of private schools without tuition. However, there are both pros and cons of enrolling your child in a charter school. Keep reading to find out if it’s a good option for you in 2019!
Enrolling Your Child in a Charter School: The Good and The Bad
- An atmosphere of a private school minus the price. Like any other school, charter schools are mandated to have licensed teachers and conduct state-testing on students. They can even be closed for under-performing. However, they have a lot more academic freedom than local public schools. They often give specialized courses, advanced electives, and honors programs that aren’t available at public schools.
- Most public schools are known for teaching their students simply how to take a state test, rather than have fun learning and comprehending the material. Charter schools don’t always focus as much on standardized testing. They are known for unique approaches to learning that allow students to understand concepts that will actually help them rather than simply learning how to take a state-issued test.
This can be a benefit for a number of reasons. First, studies have shown that not teaching to the test actually results in better test scores. Moreover, teaching children to take a test does not improve their problem-solving skills, nor does it teach them academic concepts they can build on. When schools focus on lessons, children are more likely to enjoy learning and succeed in school. In most cases, charter schools do a good job of adhering to these standards.
- Many charter schools encourage innovation. For example, if your child cannot sit for long periods of time, teachers may provide a project-based assignment rather than force them to sit and take notes. Essentially, charter schools have the freedom to adapt the typical curriculum and encourage children to learn in a way that is right for them -teaching in an innovative way.
- Also like private schools, charter schools often have smaller classrooms. Smaller classrooms offer fewer distractions for students and encourage an individualized way of learning, allowing children to learn at their own pace.
- Though charter schools are accountable for what they do, they ultimately have less accountability than a public school. This can be both a pro and a con, depending on the school. In essence, it can be a positive thing because students can learn in more individualized, creative ways. Charter schools can provide more than a typical public school.
- As mentioned, less accountability can also have negative consequences. Ultimately, charter schools are not regulated as rigorously as public schools, so just as they can fall ahead of the curriculum, they can also fall behind. Charter schools are known for their inconsistent performance. Their flexible curricula allow them to excel or fail miserably. Whether this is truly a pro or a con depends on the school.
- Corruption is common. Many charter schools have been known for misspending public money, resulting in poor classroom conditions and corrupt management. Though it is terrible to think of a school being a corrupt business, it happens often with charter schools. Though this is not true for all schools, it is important to ensure the charter school you might enroll your child in does not suffer from this adversity.
- Some charter schools have chosen to go virtual. However, online charter schools tend to do poorly. Performance is known to be low and curriculum developed poorly. Avoid online charter schools.
- There is limited transportation. Most, if not all, charter schools do not provide bus services for students. This means parents are left to find a way to get their children to and from school every day.
- Charter schools often conduct a lot of fundraisers and donations. This means that they encourage parent involvement a lot. While fundraisers can be fun, they also take a lot of time, energy, and resources. You may be volunteered to go out of your way to attend school functions, prepare items or treats to sell or even buy goods from students.
Choose Your School Today!
Now that you fully understand the pros and cons of enrolling your child in a charter school, it’s important that you choose the right school. Essentially, charter schools are wonderful options for students if you can find the right one. AMS Charters, for example, is a great option. They offer an accelerated curriculum that is individualized for every student. Find a location closest to you!