Public Versus Private Schools in Seattle: Why You Should Consider Both
Raising the proverbial bar for student standards across public and private schools in Seattle has been an ongoing effort over previous years. Fraught with uncertainty, lack of federal funds, and educational disparity, Washington has had a turbulent time educating its children.
There’s good news, however: Seattle public schools outperform the state average on the Smarter Balanced exams in every category and at every grade level from 3rd grade – 11th grade. Superintendent Randy Dorn was “ecstatic” about these figures from the 2015-2016 academic year. Seattle public schools posted a gain of 6.7 percentage points in English and Language arts plus 5.5 points in math. This culminates in an overall passage rate of 45 percent in 2016 for math exams, up from 30 percent in 2015.
On the other hand, private schools are a popular choice for Seattleites due to the ups and downs of public schools throughout city. To supplement the public system, Seattle boasts an impressive selection of private schools. Totaling 116 in all, here are some quick stats to take into consideration when looking into private schooling for your child(ren):
- The 116 private schools in Seattle serve 23,904 students;
- On average, private school tuition costs $13,769 for elementary schools and $14,473 for high schools (compared to national tuition averages here);
- The composite acceptance rate across all Seattle private schools is 65 percent (compared to the national acceptance rates here);
- Minorities make up 32 percent of the student body;
- The average composite student:teacher ratio is 10:1;
- 44 percent of schools are religiously affiliated, most often associated with the Roman Catholic Church and Christian denominations.
Since tuition is free at public schools (taxes notwithstanding), and acceptance is assured in your home district, we will focus on how many public schools there are, how many students they serve, what the diversity makeup is of public schools across Seattle, and finally, the student teacher ratio.
- There are 180 public schools in Seattle, which serve 87,101 students;
- 60 percent of the student body is made up of minorities;
- The average student:teacher ratio across the 180 public schools in Seattle is 17:1.
There are, of course, many factors to consider when looking at these comparisons. Do you value a diverse student body more than a strong student:teacher ratio? Do you want your kid(s) to attend a religious school or a secular one? How far are you willing to have your child commute to and from school every day? The list of questions and concerns can be endless.
We hope we have provided quick, robust facts and figures to help guide this important decision for your child’s education. If you’re moving to Seattle or its surrounding area, or simply looking for hassle-free, personalized guidance for enrolling your child in the right school for them and for you, get in touch with us.