There is an unending supply of stories and news articles about the admissions and application rates to private school amidst the backdrop of the economic recession. It is almost being used as a litmus test of the determination of parents who have been so vocal about Private School. In a recent article in slate.com, the author polled readers about their Private School choices; who was keeping their kids in Private, who was switching and their reasoning for each.
When I asked readers if they’d recently transferred their children from private to public school or vice versa, or were thinking of doing so, I got a flurry of like e-mails from parents going public.
Many of them were forced to pull their children out of private schools because they could no longer afford it, and, more than Alex, they expressed mixed feelings.
One of the most interesting aspects of this article, and what makes it different than many others, is the realistic response covered here that is usually not discussed in many articles. Most reports tell you how many parents are taking their kids out of Private School or how many parents are keeping their kids in Private School. This article was able to follow up with parents who had made a decision and the repercussions of that decision.
They lamented the loss of sparkling curricula and enviable amenities. Some simultaneously confided happy surprise at all that’s available at their local public schools for free. Others decried unresponsive administrators and tattered textbooks. (I also heard from parents who stopped at the brink of making the switch and detailed the extreme lengths they’d gone to in order to keep their children in private schools—for instance, raiding their own retirement savings.)
This is, realistically, what many parents will find when the leave their chosen schools. Some will be able to place their children in excellent public schools that surpass their expectations; others find their children learning in sub-standard educational facilities with tired and outdated equipment.
The realities of leaving private school are uniquely dependent on what public alternatives your child has available.