Catholic vs. Public schools...advice please!


here goes…hold on! DD currently will go to KDG at a Catholic school in a small town between DH and I and my parents. They will help us transport her back and forth. Next year, I plan to go part time at work and most of our massive debt will be paid off, so we’re planning to place her in a Catholic school in our own city. i don’t necessarily want her to stay in the current school long term because of the drive and also because there are very very few kids in the school, lastly because we don’t live there, we don’t know anyone. this year will be all about convenience…DH and I have been checking out the Catholic schools in our city under a microscope. I just don’t know…can I raise my kid just as well in a public school system? the parish we go to doesn’t have a school and most of the kids there go to public. DH is a public school teacher and believes that she can get the same education. i want her to be the best Catholic possible. any advice?


oh…also, the main reason she will attend a smaller school this year is because of money. but again, it’s a pretty good drive from home and I just can’t stick to that plan for 12 years! we have massive debt and this school is 1/4 the cost of what we’ll deal with in 2years!


Question is, what do you want your child to learn?

It’s obvious that in a Catholic school she will learn the faith and Christian values… Plus academics…

In a public school she will not learn the faith and the values (if any) may not be what you want her to learn… I know this (the value structure) will change from school district to school district…

In public schools today, children in elementary school are learning that all types of families are normal and OK… Two mommy families and two daddy families… (Part of the reason for the same sex marriage being pushed in many states)

My daughter just completed her degree in elementary education (graduated this spring from a Catholic University). She had the privilege of student teaching in both public and catholic schools… She said she could never teach in a public school because of what she would be required to teach is totally against her moral values…


Will B.



The lessons I learned in Catholic school could not have been learned in public school or even in totality from my family. Although the education one receives should be an extension of the values at home, in my case the reinforcement was necessary as I required more than just my parents telling me/showing me what was important.

Some of the key things I learned in Catholic school were:

  1. In an emergency, when something horrible has happened, our values teach us to pray. (PJPII Assassination, Reagan Assassination attempt, Challenger explosion)
  2. When we have something to celebrate, part of that celebration includes turning to God in thanks and praise. (Graduations, sacramental preparation, holidays, year-end celebrations)
  3. Life begins at conception, and should continue until natural death, and should always be respected. (covered from Kindergarten on)
  4. There are actually things in life that are wrong. Sin, the devil, and hell are real.
  5. Heaven is also real and we get there through faith. Faith is exemplified in how we live our lives.

My belief, and my husband’s also, is that our primary goal as future parents is to raise our children in the faith and to do our best to get them to heaven. I think one of the most helpful resources we have available is Catholic school. Good luck as you make this decision!


I think your daughter can get just as good an education in the public schools as she can in the Catholic schools. Obviously she’s going to get much more insight theologically if she attends a Catholic school, but the science, math, literature, and foreign language curricula will be about the same. What it really comes down to is where she’s going to learn how to be a Catholic… and that’s your duty anyway.

By going to Mass, celebrating the Sacraments, praying, reading the Bible and Catechism, et cetera she will become more developed in her faith. You can send her to Religious Education on the weekends or in the evenings if you so desire, and I’m sure that there are religious textbooks and resources you can get from the internet or your local Catholic bookshop for use in the home.

I went to Catholic schools from kindergarten through the 12th grade… and while I consider that a great blessing, it is not what has, in the end, made me a Catholic. That I owe to the influence and love of my parents and godparents. I have a cousin who is only a few months younger than me, and he did not attend Catholic schools, but he is also still a Catholic. He is, I think, much stronger in the faith than am I.

So, if you could afford to send your kids to a Catholic school, that’d be great. But since it’s not a financially sound possibility at the moment, don’t worry about sending your kids to public school. They will still get a good education, and while there may be some unsavory aspects (e.g. swearing, immodesty, violence), they would also be exposed to that in a Catholic school. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise… I spent long enough in the Catholic school system to know that Catholic students can be just as crude and cruel as anyone else.

It’s all in how you raise her at home… and I’m sure you’ll do fine. God bless.


This is my son, exactly. I’m glad you posted this here. It makes me feel like I (I guess he!) is not alone.


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