What You Need to Know About Charter Schools

What You Need to Know About Charter Schools

Wednesday, 04 December 2019 09:04

A growing educational movement in Michigan, there are now over 300 charter schools in the state. According to My Charters, an organization raising awareness about movement charter schools are:

“Charter schools are free, independently-operated public schools that have the flexibility and autonomy to meet their students' needs.” 

Combining the freedom of private school with the affordability of public education, charter schools often seem like the best-case scenario for parents searching for alternatives to traditional academic instruction in the area.

In this article, we want to help answer whether charter schools are the best option for you and your children? We will help you start your research, though it will ultimately be up to each parent to determine what method of education is right for you. Here are five things you need to know about charter schools, and how they stack up to private education:

What You Need to Know About Charter Schools

1) New System: The first charter schools in Michigan opened in 1994, only 26 years ago. Since it is a relatively new system, there is not much data regarding the long-term data and effectiveness of this method of education. That is something to factor into your decision.

2) Public Funding: While traditional public schools are heavily regulated, charter schools are not regulated as closely. However, they are funded publicly and do not charge tuition for attendance. In Michigan, charter school teachers are indeed required to have the same proper teaching licensure required by all public institutions.

3) Unique Curriculum: The curriculum at any given charter school will be unique to that school; therefore, any students transferring from a public school to a charter school may find they are behind in some areas, while ahead in others. 

4) Class Sizes: Similar to private schools, a charter institution will often offer smaller class sizes than traditional public schools

5) Test Scores: Little data exists regarding the effectiveness of testing for charter school students, so it is impossible to determine whether they test better or worse than public school students. As data becomes available, it will be important to note that charter schools are often made up of a high rate of students who struggled with academics or behavior issues in traditional public schools.

Though charter schools combine some of the best elements of public and private education, their individual institutions will vary in the curriculum and effectiveness. For Christian parents, charter schools are an alternative to public education; however, as you make your school decision, it will be vital to consider what your child might be missing by not embracing Christian private education. 

Benefits of Embracing Private Christian Education

1) Theology and Bible Study: Private Christian education emphasizes the importance of Scripture in the education process. Your child will learn all of the same subjects they would in public or charter schools, while also seeing them through the lens of a Christian worldview. 

2) Teachers as Disciples: Unique to Christian private schools, at a private institution like St. Paul Lutheran School, your students’ teachers are also disciple-makers. They are as committed to your child’s spiritual growth as their academic pursuits. 

3) Prayer in School: There is no question about whether prayer is acceptable in a private Christian school. At St. Paul Lutheran School, prayer is a crucial part of a student’s day.

4) Christian Community: At a private Christian school, students are inundated with the support and fellowship of Christian community each day. They benefit from spending six to eight hours of academic instruction in a spiritually nurturing environment. 

There are few decisions in your child’s life as significant as where they will attend school. Charter schools are an alternative to public education; however, we still recommend embracing the benefits of private Christian education. If you would like to know more about St. Paul Lutheran School of Northville, Michigan, contact us