Investing in Education

Posted by Mary Beard on 2 November 2013 | Comments

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Question: I would like to send my child to a private school, but I am not sure it is a wise use of my money since I have an option for free public education. Give me your reason for making this investment of my money.

Answer: From the outset, let me acknowledge my biased opinion. If I did not think private educational opportunities were a need and a service to this community, I would not have opened my school. What makes America the “land of opportunity” is the availability of choices to its people. One essential role we have is to determine which choice will give us the greatest opportunity to enhance our potential to succeed. In this case, the success of your child.

For the record, I am not in opposition to the public school system. It serves a tremendous service in providing the educational needs to our children. The laws that are set in place allow every child to have the opportunity to read, write and, hopefully, one-day attend the college of their choice. The private school option should be considered an alternative with some additional advantages. What you as a parent must decide is the worth of these advantages.

I sometimes liken it to riding first class on an airplane. The plane will arrive at a certain place, on a certain time, whether you ride in the front of the plane or the back. As a first class passenger, however, you can expect more individual attention in a smaller grouping, you are given more options to better your experience on the plane, your ability to leave the plane in better condition physically and mentally are enhanced, and the people around you are desiring the same benefits. It is the experience that makes the difference and is the reason for the difference in price.

I can only speak of what I know here at CPA as to what gives our students a first class experience. Here are a few:

  • Smaller, non-institutional, secure environment   
  • Christian based curriculum 
  • Greater amount of personal attention 
  • Academically challenging
  • Extras, extras, extras (monthly field trips, end of the year musical, service projects, great computer lab to name a few)
  • Uniformed attire    
  • Strong parent involvement

All schools have a similar purpose statement (to educate each child while placed in their care). The agenda for achieving that purpose varies significantly from school to school. Let me challenge you to find out what that is for each school you are considering. Be a wise consumer. Decide don’t drift into your decision. Make sure the school aligns with your goals and belief system. If the private school option seems the best choice for your child, the financial sacrifice will be a gratifying experience.