In the state of Florida, roughly 2.5 million students are enrolled in our public school system, and another 330,000 attend private schools. With all the news coverage education has received in recent months, most now know there are several new types of schools that were not available a few decades ago. This means choosing a school is not as simple as it once was.
From charter to magnet and virtual to language immersion, there are so many choices! How do you know which is best for your child? Here’s a brief description of the most popular types of schools available today:
- Traditional public schools receive funding from local, state, and federal governments, so they must admit all students who live within the borders of their district, and teach the mandated national curriculum.
- Charter schools are independently operated schools started by parents, teachers, community organizations, and for-profit companies. These schools receive a certain amount of government funding, but can also seek private funding. Charter schools also run autonomously of the existing public school system, often offering a unique learning environment. While charter schools are free, parents are usually required to submit applications for the limited spaces available.
- Magnet schools are highly competitive and selective public schools, often specializing in specific areas such as technology, science or the arts. While they are free, students who apply to these schools may go through a rigorous testing and application process.
- Private schools are not funded by the government. They rely on tuition payments and other non-government sources of financing for operating costs. This separation gives them the freedom to stray from the mandated national curriculum. These schools select from a pool of students who apply for admission. They may be coed or single sex, faith-based or secular.
Not everyone realizes they have more choices than just the standard public vs. private. Now that you know your options, you have the unique opportunity to select the school that will suit your child the best based on his strengths and needs and your family’s priorities.
As a mother myself, I understand how educational options impact home buying decisions. Let me be sure your family finds the right home, at the right price, with the right school. Reach out today to explore your options.