Parents are said to have a choice when it comes to their child’s education. Many people would argue that there is no true school choice. The possible choices for a parent are to enroll their child in a public school, a charter school, private school, or to home school their child. The majority of people end up choosing the public education route for their child, simply for the fact that for the majority of Americans their hand is forced.
Charter schools, although publicly funded, are founded to focus on specific content or to provide rigorous. The limiting factors here are not financial in this case. Charter schools are public entities, but there are other factors that often keep children whose parents would like them from attending to do so. Location is a primary detractor for charter schools. Only students living within the charter school’s district can attend that particular school. Enrollment numbers is also often controlled, so this is another factor that limits the number of opportunities for students who want to attend them.
Private schools would probably be the number one choice for a large majority of parents if it was not for one factor. That factor would be the cost of attending. Although some schools offer scholarships and waivers of some type, the cost of attending a private school, can be between $5,000 and $10,000 per year. Most parents cannot afford this option simply because of cost.
Home schooling is a choice that many Americans take advantage of, but there are limiting factors in this as well. This is a great avenue for parents to control exactly what their children are learning as well as to spend more quality time with their children. However, two factors often discourage parents from taking this avenue. Parents have to take the time to educate their children and this is virtually impossible for households where both parents work. The other factor that many parents run into is that they do not have the knowledge necessary to give their child the quality education that they want their child to have.
In theory there is a choice for all parents when it comes to their child’s education. However, there are simply too many limiting factors that limit parents’ choices and force their hands towards the public education system. Parents often feel cornered and forced into a choice that while they don’t feel is the best for their child; it is the most feasible choice for the majority of Americans.