By Elijah Edwards
The common stereotype of children in private schools today is that most of them are stuck-up, rude, rich, or spoiled brats. Money and the wealth of families in private education is not the only difference between public and private schooling. I attended private school from elementary to middle school and am not richer than the next person. Although there is a majority of higher class children in most private schools, there happens to be an almost even amount of lower or middle class children in the few private schools I attended.
The 2009 Greatschools and Harris Interactive poll reports a shift in parents that decide to switch their kids from public to private school and vice-versa. The economy caused this shift by the rise of the higher middle and upper classes while lower class wages lowered, which changed the affordability of the schooling systems in the lower and middle classes. Another misconception of private schools is that the children and their families are all “religious nuts” or “Jesus freaks,” constantly throwing and raving scripture in people’s faces and brainwashing the children’s minds by leaving certain key educational factors out. This may be true in some privates schools, but it depends on the parent and child preference. There are certain days of the week when students learn about the Bible, Torah, or Koran depending on the type of private school, yet there are also non-religious private schools in America that mainly focus on education such as Balboa City School, Burr and Burton Academy, and Erskine Academy.
One of the most common misconceptions of private schoolers is that they’re all “goody two shoes”. There are some private schools that have a zero tolerance policy, and coming from experience, there will always be those who want to do someone else harm or consistently bully others; I would know, I have been bullied almost my entire life in school. Bullying has always been a nationwide problem in American schools. This issue doesn’t skip over private schools.
The true difference between public and private school is not the kids, the cost, the religion, or even the education. The difference between the two is that one has the ability to provide a higher amount of college scholarships for their students. According to Privateschools.com, “Approximately 90% of private school children have a better chance to receive financial aid for college.” In most private high schools like Mater Dei, they provide easy access for scholarships to their students. In public schools however, it is much harder to receive a scholarship unless a student stands out exceptionally in academic classes and athletics. This gives some private scholars the advantage when it comes to getting into the college of their dreams.
There has always been one single difference that splits the barrier between the two types of schooling programs. It isn’t about the money, although it helps, nor is it the religion or the behavior of students. The thing that separates public and private schools from each other is and has always been access to scholarships. This key factor is why a higher percentage of parents decide to send their students to private schools.