Breakdown of schools in the U.s.a

Created by: Ariana Yamasaki

Different Types of Schools Available to America's Youth

In the United States of America, there are many different types of schools that students are able to attend. Every U.S. citizen legally has to attend kindergarten to 12th grade, unless they choose to drop out at the age of 16. It is up to the parents to decide which type of school would benefit their child the most. Parents need to decide whether they want to send their children to traditional public schools, charter schools, private schools or parochial schools.

According to Rasmussen College, public schools are funded by the community, state and federal government. Public schools must abide by rules that the local, state and federal governments give. Public school teachers must obtain a teaching license in the state where they are employed, to help ensure that the children are getting a good education. Public schools are cost free to those in their sending districts. According to Rasmussen College, “The schools themselves must adhere to rules of curriculum, policy, and governance, most of which are decided at the state and local level according to the U.S. Department of Education.”

Public schools require teachers to have a license to teach but are the schools able to give their students everything they need to be successful in the future? According to The Atlantic, “inequity between wealthier and poorer districts continues to exist. That’s often because education is paid for with the amount of money available in a district, which doesn’t necessarily equal the amount of money required to adequately teach students.” The article continues to explain how most of the funding comes from the local government and the federal government only gives about 8 to 9 percent of school budgets nationally. If every public school is funded differently how are students getting an equitable education?

Charter schools are categorized as public schools, but they have more freedom in the classroom to meet student needs. Charter schools are funded just the same as public schools, but require students to apply to get in. According to the National Alliance For Public Charter Schools, “All charter schools operate under a contract with a charter school authorizer – usually a nonprofit organization, government agency, or university – that holds them accountable to the high standards outlined in their ‘charter.’” Every charter school is unique and according to In Perspective the most recent data, from the 2015-2016 school year, shows that there are a total of 6,885 charters and they go across 44 states in the U.S.

What is better, traditional public schools or charter schools? According to Paul Hill, a professor at the University of Washington, in an NPR interview, “If you're a parent in a school in an inner city, charter schools can be a very important option. And in fact the performance of charter schools dealing with the most disadvantaged students is good, somewhat better than public schools in their areas.” Hill continues on about how as a parent one should look at the charter schools around them because depending on the area they can be different.“ In Colorado, charter schools are generally for the advantaged in the suburbs. In other states, charter schools are very under-funded and they don't get going very well.”

Traditional private schools are not funded by the government, which gives them the freedom to do as they please with the curriculum.  Private schools do not make their teachers provide a license to teach upon hiring. The class sizes in private schools are smaller and the students will get more one-on-one attention from their teachers. The students and teachers can have a better connection with one another because of the small class sizes. The school does not have to follow the federal government's guidelines for education.

If they are not funded by the state or federal government, how do they get their money? According to Rasmussen College, private schools can be funded by non-profit or for-profit organizations. They also get a lot of their funding from the students through their tuition. The National Center for Education Statistics states, “Typically, public schools are governed and financed by public authorities, while private schools are governed and financed by private authorities.”

Written by: Ariana Yamasaki

Scroll to Top