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Public School vs. Christian School? Who Cares…

Date posted - November 14, 2012

My family and I moved to northwest Iowa from Denver, Colorado a couple of years ago. While adapting to small town life has taken some getting used to, the biggest thing I  am trying wrap my head around is why people get so heated over public vs. private school???


Here’s the situation as I (as an outsider) understand it….


Some parents opt to send their kids to a private, religious-based school and spend extra money to do so. For that money, they get faith-based education and presumably smaller class sizes. The rest send their kids to public school in whatever school district and they pay for it with their taxes (presumably).


So the private school parents essentially pay twice, right…once in taxes and again in tuition? That’s their choice. I don’t. That’s MY choice. What is everyone all up in arms about?


I have heard accusations of recruitment. Even if it were true (which I have been told many times that is IS NOT), is sports THAT big of a deal as to cause families to not talk to  or associate with each other? And to sling mud over the fence?


Maybe I dont have a clear understanding? Maybe I had to have been born here to get it.


Maybe there are more important things to teach our children OTHER than class warfare?


–Confused Transplant

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22 Responses to “Public School vs. Christian School? Who Cares…”

  1. Stuart says:

    part of the problem is that the private schools usually have strong athletic teams
    which is important to many and some public school parents are jealous of their success

    on the other hand when it comes to passing a bond issue for a new public school or to get voters to pass a public school educational bond issue many private school parents refuse to support the bond because it doesn’t benefit their school and they’re already paying private school tuition and taxes supporting public schools. They figure enough is enough.

    Suggestion! Don’t get sucked in

    • Lisa says:

      I agree with your statement. I used to work with a person who had 4 children and sent them all to private school. When the bond issue came up she very openly said that she would not support it because it would not benefit her family. I guess that was her choice.

  2. Tim says:


    May I ask where are those “facts” from that back that statement up? I always thought a persons voting record was private.

    • Joe says:

      They are private. But they will release how counties voted.

    • Brian says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong,, but doesn’t the Christian school in Sheldon use our buses for getting kids to and from school at the bus stops? Are they charged for this? No. They choose to live in Sheldon but send their kids to a private school which is their choice. But when it comes time for bond issues for the public schools they sqwak. They hold fundraisers for all kinds of things and I’m pretty sure all their sales are not just from Christian school supprters. I bet the amount I spent this year ordering from them is more than what one of them pays extra for the bond issue in a year.

      • Tim says:

        I will correct you, yes the private schools do use our bus service, only to the extent it is to pick up and drop off, not for extra curricular activities, up till a few years ago I believe St. Pats also used them sometimes for extra activities. Didn’t bother me any. However, the information I have on how the this works is, the state knows how many students are in each school district, including those from Granville Spalding, St. Pats, Sheldon Christian, Unity, Western. and any others that may send their kids to private schools. As long as they are in the district, that district will get reimbursed for a per student transportation cost. Set by the state. That in turn is passed on to the individual private school by the school district each student is in. (this pertains to those private schools that run busses thru our district lines) However, the school district is not obligated to pass it on to the private school, that is up to the individual district board. So, if a district wishes to not pass it on, it does not have to. Therefore, the district is NOT paying extra for those students that attend another school.

        All in all, we need to get the best education for each of our students, no matter which school they attend.

      • Todd says:

        Saying they squawk about bond issues is a broad statement. There are many private school parents that voted yes and there are many who financially support the public school in a myriad of ways. Remember, there are only 118 students currently at Sheldon Christian which represents approximately 60 families. Even if both parents voted no that would only be roughly 120 votes. There were alot more than 120 no votes on the bond issue. I know MANY public school parents who voted no and I know several private school parents who voted yes.

        • Lee Ann says:

          One of the reasons we have such difficulty getting bond issues passed is not the Christian or Catholic School parents. but the fact that a majority of voters in our town are older, haven’t had kids in the schools here for many years. And they don’t want their taxes going up for small children in the town. And while I agree that a lot of them are on fixed incomes and have difficulty with rising taxes. Our children are our future in this town, state, country and we should do all we can to educate them well.

  3. Lisa says:

    I could not agree more!!

  4. Todd says:

    Much of the problem revolves around athletic rivalry. I have also heard many accusations of recruitment yet when I ask people to name players at Unity, Western, or Granville Spalding who were recruited from public schools and have no family ties to those schools I have yet to hear even one athlete named. I think there are far more important things to worry about than who wins an athletic event. They are nothing more than 14-18 year old kids competing in sporting events that long term are meaningless. The really big problem isn’t the kids, it is usually the adults and that is truly sad. My recommendation is focus on the individuals who refuse to participate in the rivalry because there are some truly wonderful people in this community from both sides.

  5. Resident says:

    I snicker when I see accusations of recruitment, my kids attend public school, but most of their Christian school friends have been attending since age 5. Were their recruiting in utero?

  6. Jeff says:

    I have private education from grade school, high school, college. I think it did me good. I commed my parents for the sacrifice of money and other things to send us all to private schools. I also attend a reformed church. But with that said I am the first to say all my friends etc are of the public school. Most people I work for or with are of the public school. As far as the bond thing with the public school, I am for it. It is progress. Spears takes great pride in our schools. Take a drive by them and things are always wel kept. The insides are also well kept. Now me today with wife and kids, yes my children are attending a private school. Am I any better than those who went or are going to public schools – NO. It’s simple a choice I have made. Kinda like driving a ford, gm, or Toyota.

  7. Ashshade says:

    I was in private from grade school until high school.

    Worst choice my parents ever made.

    I love the idea of faith based education, but they need to run the schools better and keep better people in the schools.

    I have seen things that, if they had happened in a public school, the teacher would have been suspended or fired. The private schools do not hold their teachers and principals to a higher standard.

  8. Christian schools says:

    Today, most of the parents prefer to send their children in Christian schools. These schools are best to teach the core values and make the child obedient. This is the perfect option for troubled teens to gain the self-confidence and live a life without any kind of addiction.

    • Lisa says:

      “Make the child obedient”???? Dogs are trained to be obedient not children.

    • Tim says:

      I grew up going to a Christian School, all the way to College, my kids all went to Christian School system, all the way thru high school. It was our choice as parents. Does that make myself or my kids better than those of the public school system? NOT at all. Did they have that much better of an education than those in the public school systems in NW Iowa? Not that I am aware of. Myself, and my kids, had and do have just as many freinds in both systems. But to say that going to the “Christian” school makes them better equiped in life to handle the teen years and addiction, I think not. Perhaps they are taught how to deal with those problems in a different light, (not be/c public school teachers would not, they are just not legally allowed to) I beleive that public school teachers when given the opportunity do demonstrate their personal christian values when thy can, I have seen that. Our public school systems in NW Iowa are far different than those in othere areas of the country. We have fantastic teachers in our NW Iowa schools! I don’t of course know them all, but I would say that most if not all, have as many if not more of the same “christian” values as those in the Private schools systems. We here in NW Iowa should feel very fortunate to have such fantastic school systems, Public and Private!

    • Ashshade says:


      Most parents do not send their kids to Christian Schools. Look a the numbers.

      Christian schools do teach all subjects in a Christian light and they do teach good values. They do not make the child obedient. That needs to be done at home. Where do you even get this… I just…. What? How do you think they make the kids obedient?

      Gain self confidence? At a CRC school? I’ve spent the last 15 years trying to regain the self confidence that the Christian schools took from me.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think Christian schools CAN be a good thing – and maybe they have changed in the last 15 years. But in the 3 Christian schools systems that I have been in, no.

      The CRC schools foster addiction. Any sign of imperfection and you are shunned, so you learn to hide you weakness instead of talking about it with you peers/parents/teachers. Then it stays bottled up inside and festers. I went to the CRC schools. While there I started smoking and drinking along with a large number of my classmates.

      Troubled teens? Give me a break. This ain’t no military school, you sit next to the teachers in church, they are just people. Like you and me, same faults and weaknesses.

      The CRC schools pushed me down in the mud, kicked me, and left me, telling me I was not wanted. And until my junior year, I really wanted to “belong”. And not just the kids, I can understand that, but the teachers and principals too.

      I hate to put these words into the public realm, but we have to watch what goes on in these schools.

      I was not the rebel, just the shy, quiet kid.

      • Todd says:

        I truly feel bad that you had a bad experience. However, to say that any schools “foster addiction” is a little hard to believe. Unless they were recommending alcohol and drug use I would disagree with your terminology. As far as smoking/drinking, that goes on in EVERY school including Christian schools. These are still teenage kids and they are going to make bad decisions at times. My main concern is you blame the schools then state you were in 3 christian school systems. I can understand problems at 1 school, maybe 2, but 3? That makes me wonder if any other school would have been a good fit. Please don’t get me wrong, I truly feel bad for ANYONE who is left out, bullied, or made to feed unwelcome. I hate the fact that things like that go on in any school. However, it goes on in EVERY school, not just the schools you attended and it is hard to blame the school because it is nearly impossible to patrol hallways, study halls, etc. 24/7 and make sure every kid is included in every social situation. It is a lofty goal, but unrealistic. Between my wife, myelf, and our children we attended 3 separate Christian Grade Schools, 2 Christian High Schools, and a Christian College and had wonderful experiences. I am sorry yours wasn’t as satisfactory but you can’t blame EVERY Christian school statewide or nationwide for your experiences.

    • Ashshade says:

      Or is Christian schools just trolling, if so 10/10 congrats.

  9. Jeff says:

    Funny! Christian schools trolling. That’s good! I agree with Todd, school 1, school 2, school 3 you had issues in all of them. What I experienced, witness today is probably the money issue. Parents with money have new cars for there kids, these kids hang with other “sucessful” kids cuz there cool. That is the biggest thing I see. And that goes on in church, all schools, even social events.

  10. newa says:

    Since 1951 I have said the funding should go to studentd!

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