Catholic School or Public School?

:confused: My husband and I are torn about the decision of whether to send our kids to the public school or our church’s catholic school. Has anyone else gone through this dilemma?? We are driving ourselves crazy.

:whacky: :banghead: That is such a hard decission!!
If you get it figured out, fill me in. I have my children in Catholic school right now and I am not pleased. Not sure I would be pleased with the public either, but at least I could tell my children that those people aren’t Catholic. Pray!

our kids go to Catholic school…the choice was an easy one…our towns public schools are horrible (education wise, respect for the teachers from the kids, the dress style of the kids etc.)

If I had it to do over again, I would send my children to Catholic School. I have three adult children who are very responsible and loving adults, and I am very greatful. I just think we would be closer as a family in faith matters it they had attended a Catholic School.

Welcome to the forums. :wave:

**Homeschool and use Catholic curriculum.:smiley: **

I’m for homeschool too. :slight_smile:

Here are some points from canon law that address the topic of education (maybe they can help):

**Can. 793 ß1 Parents, and those who take their place, have both the obligation and the right to educate their children. Catholic parents have also the duty and the right to choose those means and institutes which, in their local circumstances, can best promote the catholic education of their children. **…
ß2 Pastors of souls have the duty of making all possible arrangements so that all the faithful may avail themselves of a catholic education.

Can. 795 Education must pay regard to the formation of the whole person, so that all may attain their eternal destiny and at the same time promote the common good of society. Children and young persons are therefore to be cared for in such a way that their physical, moral and intellectual talents may develop in a harmonious manner, so that they may attain a greater sense of responsibility and a right use of freedom, and be formed to take an active part in social life.


Can. 796 ß1 Among the means of advancing education, Christ’s faithful are to consider schools as of great importance, since they are the principal means of helping parents to fulfill their role in education.

ß2 There must be the closest cooperation between parents and the teachers to whom they entrust their children to be educated. In fulfilling their task, teachers are to collaborate closely with the parents and willingly listen to them; associations and meetings of parents are to be set up and held in high esteem.

Can. 797 Parents must have a real freedom in their choice of schools. For this reason Christ’s faithful must be watchful that the civil society acknowledges this freedom of parents and, in accordance with the requirements of distributive justice, even provides them with assistance.

**Can. 798 Parents are to send their children to those schools which will provide for their catholic education. If they cannot do this, they are bound to ensure the proper catholic education of their children outside the school. **

ß2 Christ’s faithful are to promote catholic schools, doing everything possible to help in establishing and maintaining them.

Can. 801 Religious institutes which have education as their mission are to keep faithfully to this mission and earnestly strive to devote themselves to catholic education, providing this also through their own schools which, with the consent of the diocesan Bishop, they have established.

Can. 802 ß1 If there are no schools in which an education is provided that is imbued with a Christian spirit, the diocesan Bishop has the responsibility of ensuring that such schools are established.

ß2 Where it is suitable, the diocesan Bishop is to provide for the establishment of professional and technical schools, and of other schools catering for special needs.

Can. 803 ß1 A catholic school is understood to be one which is under the control of the competent ecclesiastical authority or of a public ecclesiastical juridical person, or one which in a written document is acknowledged as catholic by the ecclesiastical authority.

**ß2 Formation and education in a catholic school must be based on the principles of catholic doctrine, and the teachers must be outstanding in true doctrine and uprightness of life.

ß3 No school, even if it is in fact catholic, may bear the title ‘catholic school’ except by the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority. **…

ß2 The local Ordinary is to be careful that those who are appointed as teachers of religion in schools, even non-Catholic ones, are outstanding in true doctrine, in the witness of their Christian life, and in their teaching ability.

Can. 805 In his own diocese, the local Ordinary has the right to appoint or to approve teachers of religion and, if religious or moral considerations require it, the right to remove them or to demand that they be removed.

Can. 806 ß1 The diocesan Bishop has the right to watch over and inspect the catholic schools situated in his territory, even those established or directed by members of religious institutes. He has also the right to issue directives concerning the general regulation of catholic schools these directives apply also to schools conducted by members of a religious institute, although they retain their autonomy in the internal management of their schools.

ß2 Those who are in charge of catholic schools are to ensure, under the supervision of the local Ordinary, that the formation given in them is, in its academic standards, at least as outstanding as that in other schools in the area.

We sent our daughter to Catholic school for preschool.

We had a tough time because she had a few problems with impulsivity and after much prayer and many meetings, we decided to send her to the public school in case she needed special services.

We have seen her blossom so BEAUTIFULLY at public school. For personal family reasons we are not able to homeschool and sending her to Catholic school was a financial burden. However, we were wiling to do it. Now, it seems as though she is really meant to be at public. We make sure we are extra careful to teach the faith at home to make up for the lack of a “formal” Catholic education. That being said, here are a few questions to consider:

  1. Is the Catholic school you are considering ACTUALLY Catholic? Some schools are CINO (Catholic In Name Only)

  2. Can you afford to send the children? (No, I am not asking about your finances, just something to consider).

  3. How well does your school respect the faith? Some districts are hostile to any discussion of faith. Our district is very respectful.

  4. Can you homeschool?

Okay, enough of my two cents. I will be praying for you. This is a decision that is difficult but when you find the right one, you will be brought great peace!

We sent ours to Catholic even though we are in a great school district. Don’t regret it at all however I still have to teach the Faith :mad: for a lot of things i.e. what is purgatory, why is it a sin not to go to Mass etc…

If you have the means choose Catholic school.

I will be sending my child to the same Catholic school I attended…Curriculum and religious education are strong…

I can think of no better place for my child to be than as near as possible to the Eucharist in the chapel on campus as well as attending mass regularly at school…I will be emphasizing the importance of keeping Christ at the forefront in her life, including her education…

I know some cases are different and acknowledge that…

Why wouldn’t someone want to choose a good institution, where Christ is present in the Eucharist ?? (I do mean Catholics especially that have the opportunity to do so)

How many of you know others who could be sending their children to a good Catholic school but have chosen to maintain a lifestyle where their needs or should I say GREED and desires for various material goods have influenced their decision to do so ???

My children expect for the youngest (grade 11) graduated school. 2 out of the 4 who finshed are in College now. The youngest is expected to go too. Where I live there is no Catholic Schools, :frowning: but if given a choice I more than likely would have choosen a Catholic School. Homeschooling not a good idea for me I only have an 8th grade education, I get by fine but I’m was not confident enough to teach them beyond abc’s colors and their numbers.
Religious teaching was done in CCD and most important by example at home by me and my husband and our relatives.

Superb post! I would add to it to investigate and see if the catholic school treats its athletic programs as a higher value than their catholic identity. (don’t laugh - it’s common around here). If so, avoid at all costs. No matter how good the curriculum might be, if the culture there glorifes athletes higher than saints, it is spiritual poison. Better for them to learn the faith at home and go to public school KNOWING that it is of another culture than to send them to a place that talks one set of values and lives a different one.

If I had it to do over again, I would most DEFINITELY send our daughter to Catholic School. The public schools in our area are really terrible. I think it’s a reflection of society on the whole. I wanted to send her at the time, but we were in no financial shape to even think about it when she was little.

I am very happy to report, however, that I have prayed my little heart out for our grandchildren to be able to receive a Catholic education, and as skeptical as I was that this was realistically ever going to happen, low and behold God said “Sure, I will help you with that”, as my oldest grandchild has now started out in Catholic School.:thumbsup: My daughter and her husband (and his grandparents from what we can see) absolutely LOVE IT!!! He LOVES it and is progressing very very well academically. Yes, God does and will say yes alot of the time if you ask Him.:slight_smile:

I went to Catholic schools for 13 years, as did everyone in my family. I found it so hugely important and helpful to my faith formation. Living so closely with the religious was probably the most influental part. We had a convent on the grounds of every school I went to, and had some priest teachers too. I also loved having a daily Communion service available to me.

The most imporant part I felt was the amount of TIME you spend praying in a Catholic school. It’s amazing! We had morning and evening prayers of course, then prayers at the beginning of every class, then Mass twice a month. Then in religion class and during our twice yearly retreats we had plenty of time for praying and faith formation. In elementary school we also had special time for the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross and Confession.

All in all, I was VERY happy with my Catholic education. And considering that I went to 5 different Catholic schools, I feel like I have a lot of experience.

This is not even taking into consideration the high academic results of the schools I went to, or the high level of 12th grade students going on to receive a Bachelor’s and marry in the Church.

This being said, the Catholic schools in my DH’s neighborhood growing up just didn’t offer the same opportunities or education, so his parents sent him and his siblings to an excellent public school. Oh wait… my DH is the only Catholic left in his family of 7… nevermind…

Thanks everyone for your wonderful insight on this issue.

I think one of our concerns is the fact that my son has an auditory processing problem. The public school has the programs that would assist him with this while he is in school during the day. I’ve talked to some families at the catholic school with children that have special needs and unless the school district approves of extra help, they have to pay an outside source to get their son/daughter extra help academically. My fear is that my son will become frustrated and feel like he can’t keep up with the other kids.

Another concern is the transition later on into a public high school, since it is highly doubtful we would be able to afford the tuition of a catholic high school.

For the homeschool advocates, that would solve all those problems, right? I will most definitely pray about that option. Does God give you the grace to be more disciplined and organized in your home? My natural tendencies aren’t that way.

Thanks again for everyone’s input. This is a very helpful resource and I’m glad I joined the forum!! :thumbsup:

Here is something else to think about from my personal experience.

Where I grew up there were two Catholic schools. Both educated the children very well on religious life, the Church, and common academia. On paper they looked the same. The main difference was who went to the schools. One was mainly populated by children who were being raised Catholic. The other was a dumping ground for those who “Got into trouble”.

I am not sure how to judge the population of your prospective schools, and the information is 11 years old, but it is something to think about.

I know many homeschoolers who’s homes aren’t so organized - yet they do a fantastic job. I wouldn’t let this hold you back.

Besides, the school my son attended had a long time 1st grade teacher who’s room was a total mess. Stuff all over the place - but everyone hoped they’d get her because she LOVED the children & did so many fun, yet educational things with them. So you see… no guarantee that your child’s teacher would be disciplined & organized either.

The other thing I wanted to say is don’t worry about High School. It’s a million years away if your child hasn’t even begun kindergarten yet. Don’t let the worry of that keep you from considering sending him to a good Catholic school now.

Pray about it.

:slight_smile: CM

If it’s a good Catholic school (not just academically, but being faithful to Church teaching and having a positive environment), then if at all possible, I would send my kids there. My two oldest went to Catholic school for several years, but I finally pulled them out because of what was going on in the school. I had to learn the hard way that just because a school was Catholic didn’t mean it was automatically a good environment for my children. I put them in public school, but both school districts have been in very conservative areas with a lot of Christians involved as teachers, administrators, volunteers, etc. We don’t have a Catholic school where we live now, so we don’t really have a choice at this time. Investigate all your options carefully and ask God’s guidance.

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