It is not uncommon for us to field questions like this one: “Is private school worth the money?” For many families, it seems like a big stretch to pay for services that the government gives away for free. And with all due respect to the incredible educators filling the halls of public schools in our community we believe you get what you pay for. Public school teachers work just as hard and are just as dedicated to their students as the teachers in our private school. However, they’re often shackled by a lack of resources and overwhelmed by large classes and they simply aren’t able to give each child the attention they’d like to.
A private school is a great place for all students, but it is especially good for those who need a little extra attention. The average class size for private school teachers in the United States is 18 students where public schools can range anywhere from 25 – 30 students. Can you imagine having 30 children in your home every day and trying to connect with each of them on an individual basis? Even the best teachers struggle with this public school issue.
But private schools are more than just the smaller version of their public peers. They’re also places where parents can opt for their children to receive the type of values-based education that aligns with their faith. Where public schools are unable to involve religion in their classrooms, private school teachers are encouraged to weave faith and academics together to create a wonderfully full educational experience. To some, this may not matter, but for families to whom their faith is of utmost importance, private school is worth every penny for the quality of values-based education they know their children will receive.
But knowing that private education is the best option for your child, doesn’t make footing the bill any easier. We’re aware that some parents struggle to find the resources, and we want to you know that there are options. Not every parent who enrolls their children at a private school is in the position to pay cash upfront. Some are, but for others, there are several different resources to help make private school possible for their families.
We hope you’re aware by now that St. Barnabas School offers financial aid packages for families who need them. While our resources are not unlimited, we want to help as many families as we can join the St. Barnabas family if they want to. We couldn’t offer financial aid programs without the generosity of current and former St. Barnabas families who know the value of private school and want to bless other families with the opportunity to enroll their children. If you think you’d be eligible for financial assistance, contact our office to learn more.
For families who are thinking ahead about their children’s education, the 529 plan is a great place to start. A 529 plan is a “tax-advantaged savings plan” that is commonly thought to be used only for higher education. However, these plans also allow the investor to spend up to $10,000 per year of the fund on secondary education tuition. If you have young children who are years away from attending private school, this type of investment opportunity may be the best option for you and your family.
Another way that parents afford to send their children to private school is through private scholarship programs. Finding the right scholarship may take some research, but there are plenty of individuals and organizations who contribute to these scholarship opportunities because they believe strongly in the quality of education provided in private schools, and they want to see that opportunity distribute equitably. The State of Florida has a listing of scholarships for potential private school families that will start as a good jumping-off point.
If building up your savings feels especially difficult for you, we understand. Thankfully technology has advanced to the point that saving money is easier than ever before. Apps like Acorns, Qapital, and Digit are listed by NerdWallet as the best money-saving apps around. So whether you’re saving up for a private elementary school or private college, finding the right app can take a load of responsibility off of your shoulders.
Private education is widely accepted as the more expensive option. And while it carries inherent costs not associated with public schools, it also has many benefits that public schools can’t offer. We never want anyone to assume that St. Barnabas is not an option for them simply based on the cost. If you are committed to enrolling your children in a high-quality, faith-based private school, please reach out to our office any time for more information about our scholarship programming.