One of the most important decisions a parent has to make relates to their children’s education and if charter schools are a good option. To make a better determination, parents usually weigh the benefits of charter schools vs. public schools.
Traditionally, for some parents, this has been a no-brainer. Public education is a free benefit of the American government. Public schools are government regulated with educational standards set by the state. Private schools, on the other hand, don’t have these strict government guidelines. However, they do cost money, and sometimes, are very expensive.
Enter the charter school system. Since 1994, Arizona has offered the option of charter schools to Arizona residents. Charter schools are somewhat of an institutional hybrid, public education, offered free of charge to our students, regardless of their race, gender, or disability. On the other hand, unlike traditional public education, charter schools require that parents apply for enrollment, and these independently-run schools, like private schools, often have limited open spots.
The more popular and successful a charter school is, the more difficult it is to be granted admission. Many of these schools use a lottery system in order to fill their vacancies diplomatically. In contrast, the traditional public school must accept every child in its assigned district.
Teachers in any public school system usually always have a bachelor’s degree and a state certification. This means that they are college educated and have received training. Some charter schools have more flexible requirements.
Funding Challenges & Class Sizes
The public school system in America often experiences funding problems that force schools to reduce teaching staff and even eliminate special programs such as music, theater, and certain sports activities. Similar to public schools, charter schools encounter the same issues, especially given the fact that they typically receive less funding per pupil than traditional public schools. To counteract this, some charter schools fundraise in order to make up for per pupil deficiencies.
Each charter school has its own story. Most have smaller classes and lower student-to-teacher ratios. Moreover, studies have shown that children from low-income families and those learning English as a second language, are thriving in the charter school system. Through charter schools, America is finally closing the learning gaps that have plagued the public school system for decades.