According to a report released by the National School Boards Association earlier this week, public schools offer more options and opportunities for students than private schools.
The report highlights school choice and curriculum choices for students within public school districts, arguing that public education “is not the monolith its critics make it out to be.” Discussions around private school vouchers, tax credit scholarships and Education Savings Accounts, the authors argue, miss the “fundamental reality” that “most public school districts already offer a wide range of choices.”
According to the report, 70 percent of public high schools offer Advanced Placement courses, compared to 51 percent of private schools. Fifty-five percent of public high schools offer distance learning programs, while only 28 percent of private schools do.
The report also indicates that 86 percent of public elementary and middle schools offer before-or-after-school services, compared to 76 percent of private schools. In high school, the rate for public schools is 71 percent, compared to the 64 percent rate for private schools.
When it comes to the choice of a school, the report notes 43 states allow the creation of charter schools, while 38 states and D.C. have magnet schools. The report says that 65 percent of public school students have the option to transfer schools within their districts or to neighboring districts.