The Biggest Differences Between Private Schools and Public

03, Mar 2022

The differences between public school and private school are worth considering as you think about where you will send your child for education. When you understand the biggest differences between the two, you can compare them to what you want your child to get from school. Are the biggest differences between the two important enough to pay tuition instead of choosing the free route? Some of the biggest differences between private schools and public that are important to parents include: class size, educational philosophy, and tuition costs.

Class size

Class size is a hot topic when you start looking at private school versus public school. The unfortunate reality is that many public schools do not have enough resources or teachers to keep class sizes small. Public programs often serve such a large number of students that the average class size continues to rise. Private school programs have much more control over class size. The design of private school is to close enrollment once classes have reached a predetermined capacity. Private schools are not required to serve a certain number of students. This design allows private programs to keep class sizes at an optimal size based on what is best for the students. You will typically see smaller class sizes in private school to allow for more individualized instruction from the teacher.

Educational philosophy

Another big difference between private schools and public school is educational philosophy. The educational philosophy of a school can impact every element of the program from classroom layout to lesson plans. Public schools must follow the educational philosophy espoused by the state. The state of California dictates the educational philosophy of public schools in California. These public schools have to follow the criteria set forth by the state when it comes to what and how students are educated. The overall goal of this design is to ensure that all students in California have access to the same level of education. Unfortunately, this design also creates an environment where some students do not have their needs met. A private school has the freedom to choose an educational philosophy. This allows private programs to focus more on individualized instruction. You can choose a private program with an educational philosophy that aligns with your own.


For some parents and caregivers, the primary difference between private schools and public seems to be tuition. Public schools do not require tuition while private schools do. It is true that you will have to pay tuition for your child to attend private school. The question you need to ask is, ‘Are the benefits that private school provides worth the cost of tuition?’ If you value smaller class size and individualized instruction, then the cost of tuition is worth it to provide your child with those benefits.

The differences between private school and public can have a significant impact on your child’s education. The best way to experience all the ways that private school is different is by observing a class. By going to campus and observing a class you can see for yourself how private school can benefit your child. If Fountainhead Montessori School is on your list of private programs to consider, you can sign up online to observe a class and get the process started.

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A parent's guide to a Montessori Education for your child
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Observe a class and see if Fountainhead is the best placement for your family. By observing a class, you will get a feel for the environment and curriculum. Feel free to observe multiple classrooms to make sure you have the best fit possible for your child.

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