Choosing Private Versus Public Schooling for Our Children
Why is school privatization something we should be against? That was the question I had when I first saw privatization listed as a subject in my Social Justice K-12 course. How would it hurt anyone else if I chose to pay the fees to send my children to a private school? After researching on the internet, two possible answers to those questions have come to light.
First, a lot of people believe the public schools would be forced to improve if the “rich” kids had to attend them. Instead of being able to pay to send their children to a higher performing school, parents would have to send their kids to the public school. Many people think this would lead to more outcry for improvements in the teaching standards, equipment, and class sizes, among other things, in the public schools. The parents that would have been investing their time and money into the private school, would now be utilizing their many resources to improve the public school instead. The improvement in the public schools would then benefit the children that don’t have the socioeconomic status to pay for private schooling. When you look at children as a whole, this does seem like a more equitable and fair way.
Another problem with sending kids to private school has to do with segregation. In most public schools, there is a wide mix of different races, cultures, and socioeconomic classes. When the higher income, and often white, families move their children to private schools, those children are segregated into a group with less variety while the public schools retain less and less white students. The real world contains a wide assortment of people, and children that aren’t exposed to people that are different than them in school might be in for a surprise after graduation.
So, after this research, what do I personally think about private schools? That is a tough question for me because it seems to pit doing what might be best for my children against what is best for the community as a whole in the long run. My children might receive a better education at a private school, but by sending them there, I’m contributing to the decline in the public schools. As much as I want to make things equitable for all children, it is hard for me to choose the long-term improvement of the public school over the immediate benefits of private schooling my own children. What are some of your opinions on making this choice? Do you agree that stopping privatization would force the public school system to improve?