So your family has decided to explore alternative options to public education. There are many options to research with regards to the best education for your children and many families are familiar with the public education system, but there is a vast differences in education. Many parents are familiar with the term “charter schools,” but how do charter schools differ from private education? Here are some of the primary differences:

Charter schools aren’t private schools despite common misconception. Although they have their own curriculum and are not accountable for particular state standards, charter schools are public schools that run autonomously. Similar to public schools, enrolling in a charter school may require you to fill an application but there is no entrance examination. Charter schools are designed to be open to all students; any student that is eligible for public education is eligible for a charter school.

The school does not screen, test, or analyze the prior performance of the applicant. No tuition fees are charged in charter schools as the school is funded from the same budgets as other pubic schools. Charter schools get their own set of performance standards and rules approved by the state or local boards, to which they’re held responsible and hence, are independent of school districts. The schools must uphold these criteria to acquire public funding.

Private schools, also called independent schools, are supported by individuals or private organizations and are not governed by the local or state government. They do charge a tuition fee, unlike charter schools, as they rarely receive any state funding. They are generally independently funded through tuition fees, grants and the community. Consequently, their admission process is selective and rigorous. It may involve entrance examinations as well as interviews. As compared to charter schools, private schools have more flexibility with their curriculum as they have to only follow certain fundamental state regulations that differ for every state (such as length of a school year, teaching how to read, subjects like mathematics and following health and safety codes etc.) but are completely independent at a federal level.

Private schools and charter school mostly differ when it comes to their funding sources and their admission process. However, they are quite similar in their autonomy and course flexibility.


Learn more about what sets Cary Christian School apart.