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By: Kendra M. Castelow, Ed.S. // Educator and MDS Parent Ambassador // Mercy Musings Blog

As a product of private school, I carry experiences and emotions that resonate with other private school students. However, as a mother of children who have attended private and public school, I have actively and passively formed conclusions about the value of private and public education. As you might guess, some of those conclusions both compliment and contradict one another. As a public-school teacher, I understand why families need to send their children to a school without having to pay out of their pockets for that education. When it comes to educating students, the struggle is real. It is true that, for many, paying for education is a struggle; but we already know that. The struggle of raising children in a world with an inflated economy is real. The struggle of raising children in a world of properly and improperly incorporated incentives is real. The struggle of raising children in a world of where accountability and collaboration might be questionable is real. Though I concede that paying for education is a struggle and that free and public education is needed, I still insist that private school is worth it. When it comes to providing education for my children, I have come to 3 conclusions as to what makes private school worth it.

Conclusion #1: The price for private school yields an incentive to perform and produce. Just as farmers plant seeds, so do families invest dollars into private education. Just as farmers protect and monitor their crops, so do families protect and monitor their investments into their children’s education. Just as farmers wait to reap their harvest, so do families wait to reap their students’ academic harvest of grades and learning experiences. I like to make my money work for me. Private school provides an avenue to make that possible.

Conclusion #2: The incentive to perform and produce requires accountability and collaboration with family. The administration, faculty, and staff of the private school rely on a variety of stakeholders to provide support and solidarity. What better support and solidarity can you find in paying families of private school students? I am more willing to support and stand with private school when my input, feedback, and volunteer hours are celebrated.

Conclusion #3: The accountability and collaboration with family empowers an educated community of leaders. Because a house that is divided cannot stand, I am pleased when educated community leaders unify in their goal to place a value on education. Our local community and international network are infused with graduates of various educational organizations. Gainfully employed graduates “put their money where their mouth is” and donate money and time toward merit scholarships and other philanthropic efforts to provide a private school education to many who desire that experience.

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Mount de Sales Academy is a private Catholic school located in Macon, GA, and serves students in Bibb, Houston, Jones, Monroe, Peach and other surrounding counties. MDS is sponsored and inspired by the Sisters of Mercy. Since 1876, MDS has served a diverse college-preparatory community of learners—students and teachers alike—who are poised to discover, challenged to innovate, and motivated to serve.