Private schools are an option for parents concerned about giving their child a better education. They are often very expensive. While the state governments regulate them and insist that they meet certain educational standards, states do not provide direct financial aid. Some states have an educational voucher system, which partially subsidizes the tuition of children attending private schools, using the logic that consequent costs of running public schools are diminished. The voucher system is still controversial, however, especially as it relates to religious schools.
Some private schools operate as day schools, others as boarding schools in which children are separated from their parents, sometimes for months. Many private schools call themselves preparatory schools (“prep schools”) and place great stress on preparing their students to enter college after graduation. Private military academies, known for enforcing strict discipline, exist all over the country.
Many schools, some with their own school systems, have religious affiliations. The term “parochial school” tends to connote Catholic education, but denominations as diverse as Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, fundamentalist Christians and Orthodox Jews also run their own schools. Religious schools often cost less than secular private schools. Children at religious schools receive religious instruction in addition to studying the usual academic subjects.
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