Understanding Your Options When It Comes To Public Schools
Broadly speaking, a public school is any school available to the public that receives most of its funding from the government. Public school funding can come from grants and taxes levied on homeowners and others who do business in the jurisdiction. However, more than one kind of school exists for public education.
Public Charter School
Many people think charter schools are private schools, but they're really public schools. Some of that confusion comes from how charter schools are set up and administered.
Charter schools are free, just like any other public school. The main difference is charter schools have limited space and require parents to fill out applications to get their children into the school before that space fills up.
Charter schools receive funding from local government and must perform well to continue to receive that funding. If a charter school has been around for a while, you may want to give it some consideration. Charter schools can also receive funding from other places, but they must continue to perform well to keep their charter.
Charter schools often have a theme. They will provide the recommended or mandated education, but they may also have a strong focus on something like music or arts. Some charter schools cater to a specific demographic or kids with an aptitude for a specific subject.
Public Online School
Virtual or online K-12 classes are growing in popularity. One, these types of schools didn't have a public option. Over time, many public school districts started to roll out online training, courses, and full academic curriculums. Not all public schools offer online school. You will need to check with your local school district to see if they have virtual classes available.
Public Magnet School
Magnet schools are highly specialized public schools. The curriculum tends to have a heavy focus on a particular area of learning, such as math or science. Unlike charter schools, local and state governments create, sponsor, and fund magnet schools. The enrollment requirements are stringent, but these are still public schools. These schools often have waiting lists.
Magnet schools were an answer to segregation in public schools. Even now, these schools strive to maintain diversity in the classroom. The goal is to offer high academic excellence combined with the positive social skill building that comes from diversity.
No two schools are the same, but knowing you have public school options can help you make a more informed decision about where to send your child. Check out your local public school options. You might find something that surprises you. If nothing else, the private schools will still be there should you need them.