May 14, 2018

What’s the Difference Between a Private and a Charter School?

When deciding where your child will attend school it’s important that you perform the right amount of research to ensure they will have the best experience. It’s likely that you’ve heard of all the major types of schools: charter, public, private, and boarding or independent. Which one is the best? You may be asking yourself, “Where will my child be the happiest and receive the best education?”

You might have also heard of private and charter schools being compared a lot, but not really known the difference. We’re here to tell you what both a charter and private school is, what it entails, and why one might be better or worse for your child.

What Is a Charter School?

A charter school is a privately owned, but publicly funded and monitored school. By law, a charter school is not allowed to discriminate on who can and cannot attend, though they reserve the right to define the number of students allowed to attend. That means that though the school might fill up fast, there are no entrance tests or exams.

“The schools draw up their own “charter” which is a set of rules and performance standards that they are held accountable to.” –

When we say that a charter school is publicly monitored we mean that charter schools, while being able to determine their curriculum, are still held accountable to state standards. That means that your child will receive a tailored education that closely follows the school’s mission, but they will still be expected to pass the same state tests that public school students do.

Because charter schools are privately operated but publicly funded, your child can still receive the school’s education without having to pay any tuition or fees. Charter schools are required to be free for every student, and they receive most of their funding from a combination of public and private sources.

What Is a Private School?

A private school is privately owned and privately funded. Private schools are often created and run by religious groups but can choose their students based on other factors like familial income or the student’s academics. Private schools often have rigorous testing to get into, and students are required to follow the school’s rules at risk of being expelled.

Because private schools aren’t associated with the state at all they can determine their own curriculum. Private schools also rely on student tuition costs to fund their programs, which can be anywhere from about $7k to $15k. If you choose a private school for your child to attend, ensure you can cover these costs.

What’s the Difference?

The primary difference between a charter and private school is that a charter school is still public, while a private school is not. This difference dictates the school’s funding, curriculum, and testing. We advocate for charter schools not just because we are one, but because charter schools can still provide students with a better education without the parents having to pay exorbitant amounts out of pocket.

Charter schools are also better in the sense that our ties to the state hold us accountable. Though we provide specialized instruction and courses, we still prepare students to pass state exams, which can help their chances of getting into a university.

The Providence Hall Experience

Providence Hall is Utah’s only K-12 International Baccalaureate school. Our IB program sets us apart from other charter schools, but we’re still free! Something special about Providence Hall is that in addition to providing your children with a better education than public schools we also offer extracurricular sports, drama, choir, and debate teams! Many charter schools don’t offer extracurriculars but we understand that students need to have a well-rounded educational experience in order to be successful in their adult lives.

Providence Hall strives to provide a superior learning experience to all our students from the moment they walk in the door to the day they walk off that graduation stage. We prepare our students for more than higher education by teaching them reasoning and analytical thinking skills. If you’re looking for an exceptional education for your student but can’t afford to send them to an expensive private or boarding school, you can learn more about our school’s lottery system here. For more information please don’t hesitate to call us at 801-727-8260.

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Providence Hall Elementary

4795 West Patriot Ridge Drive
Herriman, UT 84096
p: (801) 727-8260 f: (801) 727-8282

Providence Hall Junior High

4558 West Patriot Ridge Drive
Herriman, UT 84096
p: (801) 727-8260 f: (801)-432-8496

Providence Hall High School

4557 West Patriot Ridge Drive
Herriman, UT 84096
p: (801) 727-8260 f: (801) 253-4997