Education: Public or Private?


I am a product of both the private and public school systems in Fairfield County. I also currently teach in a private school.  As many of my friends are now approaching the time when they have to make the decision for their family, I am often asked for advice on this topic.  I simply answer, “It depends on what your family needs.” Recently, I spoke with some friends, teachers and parents in both public and private schools, and asked their input to help put together some useful information for families embarking on the journey of choosing a school.


The first and most important thing to know is no school is perfect for everyone. It’s a simple fact.  There’s no way one type of school can work for the variety of learners our children are. Secondly, schools (teachers) are only 50% of our children’s educators.  Parents, families, and caregivers play a huge part, especially in the earlier years, of our children’s education.  In reality graduates from both public and private high schools get into top notch colleges and universities. Having said that, here are some pros and cons of private and public school education:

Private School Education


  • Class size tends to be smaller.
  • They tend to be family schools with a longer range of student life (PreK-8 or 5-12 grades).
  • Teachers have more flexibility to investigate children’s interests and to dovetail curriculum.


  •  Cost.
  • Sports programming and extracurricular aren’t are wide because the population is smaller.
  • Limited (if any) real diversity.
  • The curriculum doesn’t always line up with local public schools so changing in upper grades can sometimes cause gaps in knowledge.

Public School Education


  •  They are community schools.
  • They are relatively diverse
  • Schools are better equipped to work with students who have learning challenges.


  • Common Core Learning and state testing script curriculum.
  • Limited budgets.
  • Science and social studies tend to be compromised in order to accommodate for test teaching.
  • Class sizes can be big.

Choose the Best School Words Doors Top College UniversityOf course, you are not just limited to private or public. There are also magnet and religious schools. They, too, come with their own lists of pros and cons to consider. At the end of the day, it’s best to visit a few schools, to get an idea of what education today looks like, as it’s very different than what it was like when most of us were in school.

Have you chosen private over public or public over private school?  Did you buy your house in a certain town or part of town to secure a preferred school?  Have you sought out a magnet or religious school for your child? Any advice to those who are trying to figure out their children’s roadmap for education? We would love to know! 


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Maria Sette
Maria is a full-time mom, teacher, wife, daughter, and sister, who feels pulled in too many directions! Her older son Michael took over 24 hours to be born, and at six-months-old was diagnosed with allergies to dairy, eggs, nuts, soy, shrimp, and wheat…all after exclusively nursing because she was SO SURE that would help him be a healthy kid. Luckily at age 1, he began to outgrow some of his allergies. Fingers crossed the others will soon follow because that plus a husband who doesn’t eat any veggies and Maria always battling her weight makes for three meals to prepare every night. Luckily, Christopher, her younger son, is a cooperative eater! As someone who has always been committed to making positive change, Maria uses her privilege and position as an educator and mom to work toward a most anti-racisit, equitibile, and inclusive world. Recently, Maria has even started getting up at 5am to workout in her basement. (Thank you pandemic living!) She is addicted to reading chicklit on her Kindle app in the dark, most Trader Joe’s products, and watching TikToks.


  1. I was surprised to hear that public schools would have a con of a limited budget compared to private schools. I feel like public schools in Fairfield county would have a larger budget than private schools for things like music, art, libraries, computers, smart boards, field trips etc…

  2. I like private schoosl because they often provide better one on one attention and are better funded. My child will be attending a private school if I am able to afford it. My thanks to the author for taking the time to post such a short and fun read!

  3. My dad grew up going to a private school and loved it. I went to a public school and enjoyed it as well. There is a clear difference in the challenge that school was for us though. The private school was much more challenging, while the public school seemed to be catered to the students on the bottom line.


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