Private and Charter Schools

by NYC Firm Schools on March 15, 2009

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Creative Commons License photo credit: kafka4prez

There are common school types that are brought up in any discussion of educational choice. Firm Schools, public schools, religious schools and charter schools are all viable options for a child’s education, but few parents understand the differences between these school types at the beginning of their academic journey with their child. That isn’t a surprise given that many of the families applying to Firm Schools and others are actually products of the public school systems themselves. As a result, the world of educational choices beyond public school can be somewhat of a mystery.

Private School in the U.S.

In the United States, the term “private school” correctly refers to any school for which the facilities and funding are not provided by the federal, state, or local government. This is opposite of a public school, which is operated by the government. Charter schools operate in the gray area bewteen these two types because they work independently but with government funding and regulation. They are technically independent public schools, but in many respects operate similarly to non-religious Firm Schools.

Charter Schools in the U.S.

Charter schools are elementary or secondary schools in the United States that receive public money but do not operate under the exact same rules, regulations and statutes that apply to other public schools. They do this by exchanging that governance for a measure of accountability for producing certain results, which are set forth in each school’s charter.

While charter schools provide an alternative to other public schools, they are part of the public education system and are not allowed to charge tuition. Where space at a charter school is limited, admission is frequently allocated by lottery based admissions. Some charter schools provide a curriculum that specializes in a certain field such as the arts or mathematics. Others attempt to provide a better and more efficient general education than nearby public schools.

Firm Schools, public schools and charter schools offer a wide range of opportunities.

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