Public/Private schools

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2003
Public/Private schools
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 2:23pm
I am just curious and truly hope I am not offending anyone by asking this question. I was wondering why some Catholics choose to send their children to public school. I see alot of people who are very involved in the church and CCD programs and was just curious why they wouldn't choose to send them to a parochial school where these values are reinforced all day long. I do understand that money can be an issue for some people but this really isn't an issue for everyone.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 3:03pm
Because money is an issue. So is transportation. And the public schools are pretty good in my area. Even my priest said that Holy Cross (the school) was a mistake. It's placed in a difficult place to reach from most of the community and the road to it is heavily used by semis which have caused many accidents by failing to obey the lights. The school only went there because the land was donated. The Diocese won't even put a church out there and our parish priests don't like driving out there many days.

No, my sons attend school with their friends in the neighborhood. They go to CCD with kids from their classes. They attend Mass with us on the weekends. My mother is a teacher in the local school system and I feel confident in the school that my sons attend.


Mom to Brad, Ma

Avatar for jasbri2
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 3:11pm
I do not send my DD to parochial school for a couple of reasons, the most important being that the time I spent in my parochial grammar school was the worst experience of my life. The richer students were always right, and those whose parents struggled to send them were always wrong. I would not subject a goat to the treatment I received from the students and faculty at that school.

The other reason is the price. I would prefer to send my child to college.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 3:15pm
Oh how I wish I had this decision to even make! I live in a small community (about 30,000) in the west where parochial schools are few and far in between. Even though our parish built a multi-million dollar "family life" facility with 12 classrooms, a gymnasium, chapel and kitchen facilities, our pastor is dead set against putting a parochial school in it. It has made many of us angry that feel like we pledged a lot of financial support for this building with the carrot of a possible school dangling in front of us, only to be stonewalled by our current pastor. I am currently on a committee (formed with our pastor's knowledge, but not with his support) that is seeking support from our bishop to institute a parochial school in our community. I feel it would be warmly welcomed as the only other choice for private schools in our community is a radical fundamentalist Christian school that has no accreditation, or homeschooling. At present, I think that there are over 300 families that homeschool in our town.

As for your question...well, even though Catholic schools sound "ideal", there are some that are seriously underfunded, non-accredited, or are in an excellent public school district. I think that there are many different aspects that must be considered when making this choice, and if some parents feel a child can get a better education within the public school system, they should go with it, knowing that they must strongly reinforce their Catholic value system at home. We don't just send our son to R.E.F. each week, we also talk with him, pray with him and share our faith with him on a daily basis. Eventually, our kids will have to grow up and enter into the secular world anyway, so it is unrealistic to think that Catholic school is a "fix" to society's problems.

A long-winded discourse on my part...sorry about that! ; )


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 7:06pm
I think the decision can have to do with many things other than religious education. We're Catholic, and my children will attend Catholic schools; if our finanicial situation changes so that we can't afford it, they'll be homeschooled. Why? The public schools where I live are among the worst in the nation. Because of that, there are a LOT of non-Catholic kids in the Catholic schools (and there are a lot of them here). And there's a lot of competition between the Catholic schools as to which provides the best education.

With that said, my experience has been that, while Catholic schools are great for the average child, they might not be the best for children at either end of the spectrum...either gifted or needing special attention. In this city, I think they're still better than the public schools, but in an area with a good public school system, that might be the best option in that case.

And some people just believe very strongly in the public school system and want to support it, and I have to applaud that. I have to believe that one of the reasons the schools here are so bad is that just about anyone who can afford to has pulled their kids out. It creates a downward spiral.

Whatever the reasons, it's a highly personal decision and, I'm sure, usually involves a number of factors.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 9:33pm
Gosh, you must live near me....Lots of Catholic schools here, too. But lots of Catholic kids to put in them. I teach in our public system, but I saw enough things there to where I surely didn't want my children in that school.

I went to Catholic elementary school, too, and especially in my junior high years, the atmosphere was VERY snotty. Kids of doctors and judges, while my dad was a maintenance man. I went to a public magnet high school and loved it. But, my kids are in a Catholic school - more of a working class group of people - and I don't see any chance of them going any where else. The public system does not leave much to choose from.

So, I'm taking a guess? Are you in the New Orleans area? (I'm a few hours away.)



PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 05-07-2003 - 8:01am
No, I'm in a 'burb of Memphis.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2003
Wed, 05-07-2003 - 1:26pm
Thanks for the responses - I always learn alot from hearing others viewpoints!
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-1999
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 10:04pm
We too send our son to Catholic School and our daughter will begin Kindergarden in the fall. We live in an area where the public schools are not that great and we have year-round school. The kids in our neighborhood have been re-zoned 3 times in 5 years. There is no consistency at all. We do have a very snootty group at our school. I have yet to figure out their claim to greatness (aside from the fact their hushands are MD's). My son has great teachers and a nice group of friends. The rest I let slide. If we lived in another part of the country with good public schools I would not hesitate to consider public school. My husband and I both hold advanced degrees and are products of the public school system.
Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Sun, 05-18-2003 - 2:43pm
...Gosh, What a Brave Question. I grew up in the Parochial Schools but This is the First Year I actually stepped foot into the Public Sector because our oldest is in Kindergarten. We moved here 2 years ago and at the time, We wanted to be in an area that had good neighborhoods and good schools. I was confident, at the time, that our children would go to Parochial but my Husband, a product of the Public Schools, told us to give the Public Schools a try because of their notorious records and such. I am so Glad I opened my eyes to these Schools because they are the best! My girls still get the RE influence once a week and I am committed to my Church because of the Lector Responsibilities and such but it's nice to separate the two. The influence starts at home no matter how you look at it! There is the good and bad in every community, every school, everywhere!..

Just a Thought