Which is Better for You? Private, Public, or Charter?

Which is Better for You? Private, Public, or Charter?

Monday, 27 April 2020 15:27

This academic year has been unusual for everyone to say the least. As Northville residents have practiced the social distancing recommendations and mandates of our local and state governing officials, the end of the spring semester is not at all what we expected. At St Paul Lutheran, we are praying for everyone's safety and the health of our students and faculty. We are also praying for a return to school in the fall.


We are fortunate and blessed to have an incredible church and school community, who have looked out for each other every step of the way. We could not imagine how much more difficult this would be without each other. People wonder whether private school is the best option for their children, compared to charter and traditional public institutions. In this article, we want to help you decide whether private, public, or charter school is right for you.

Defining Public, Private, and Charter School

We want to make sure everyone is on the same page. Here are the definitions we are using to describe public, private, and charter education. 

Public School: Public schools are primary and secondary institutions offered to all students free of charge while being funded through taxation. Public school teachers in Michigan are required to have a teaching certificate. 

Charter School: Charter schools are tuition-free primary and secondary institutions funded through taxation; however, they are operated independently and have more freedom to control curriculum. In Michigan, charter school teachers must be certified. 

Private School: Private schools are independent primary and secondary institutions that are not funded through taxation. Being privately funded, typically through tuition and donations, private schools are able to have the maximum amount of control over curriculum, teaching style, religious emphasis, etc. They are required to meet certain academic standards in compliance with federal, state, and municipal ordinances. 

What Are the Differences

Traditional public schools and charter schools are more similar than they are different. While charter institutions may have unique curricula, slightly smaller class sizes, and feature more individual attention for students, they are still limited in their opportunity to be truly distinct. Charter schools, for instance, cannot emphasize religious education. 

In Northville, public and charter education is certainly high quality. We have excellent teachers throughout our area who have dedicated their lives and careers to giving children the best opportunities to become successful adults. However, you may be seeking an alternative to public schools for some of these reasons:

  • You want your children to have a different academic experience
  • You are concerned about the level of government interference in education
  • You want smaller class sizes 
  • You want your children educated from the perspective of a biblical worldview
  • You see the Scriptures as something as valuable in education as history, science, and arithmetic

If you are searching for that education alternative, charter school may be enticing for its price tag; however, it is not as much of a deviation from public education as you would hope. 

The Benefits of Private School

Since St. Paul Lutheran School is fully private and independent, we have full control and oversight over what we are able to teach and emphasize. We are committed to helping children develop their full potential as God's creation as we:

  • TEACH children to serve God and others.
  • EQUIP children with knowledge and skills for living.
  • ACKNOWLEDGE each child's uniqueness.
  • CREATE an active, Christ-centered learning environment.
  • HONOR GOD through active church participation.

Other benefits include:

  • Small class sizes: No more than 16 in kindergarten and 20 in grades 1-8.
  • Academics: Rigorous academics with state-certified teachers
  • Social skills: Intentional development of social skills 
  • Technology: Use of classroom technology
  • Fine Arts: We have a high-quality music education program
  • Daycare: Morning and after school care 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.

That is, of course, a small sampling of the quality opportunities your child has at St. Paul Lutheran School. We are committed to ensuring each student experiences spiritual growth and discipleship in an academically rigorous environment. If you are convinced your child would benefit from quality private Christian education here in Northville, or you need more information before you can be sure, contact us. We are here to help you find the answers that lead you to the right decision for you and your family.