Difference Wiki

Government School vs. Private School: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 19, 2023
Government schools are publicly funded and managed, while private schools are independently funded and run by non-governmental entities.

Key Differences

Government schools are funded by public taxes and are accountable to public education authorities. Private schools rely on tuition fees, donations, and private funding sources.
In government schools, curricula are often set by government education departments. Private schools have the flexibility to set their own curricula, often incorporating unique educational philosophies.
Government schools typically provide education at no direct cost to students. Private schools charge tuition and may offer scholarships or financial aid.
Staff in government schools are usually state employees. In private schools, staff are employed directly by the school or its governing body.
Government schools are required to follow state educational standards and testing. Private schools have more autonomy in testing and assessments.

Comparison Chart


Publicly funded through taxes
Privately funded through tuition and donations

Curriculum Control

Set by government education departments
Flexible, often set by the school

Cost to Students

Typically free or low-cost
Charges tuition, may offer financial aid

Staff Employment

Staff are state employees
Staff employed by school or governing body

Educational Standards

Must follow state standards and testing
Greater autonomy in curriculum and assessment

Government School and Private School Definitions

Government School

Typically offers free education to residents in its district.
Parents appreciate the free education provided by their local government school.

Private School

An independently run school not funded by the government.
The private school's innovative programs are supported by tuition fees and donations.

Government School

Must comply with state educational standards and testing.
The government school's test scores improved following new state education reforms.

Private School

Offers unique curricula, often reflecting specific educational philosophies.
This private school follows a Montessori approach to education.

Government School

Staffed by teachers who are often state employees.
Teachers at the government school are part of the state's education system.

Private School

Employs staff independently of the state education system.
The private school hires teachers who align with its educational mission.

Government School

An educational institution adhering to state-set curricula.
The government school revised its curriculum to align with new state guidelines.

Private School

Has greater autonomy in setting testing and assessment standards.
The private school implemented a new assessment system to track student progress.

Government School

A public school funded by government and taxpayer money.
The new science lab at the government school was funded by state grants.

Private School

Charges tuition, with potential scholarships and financial aid.
Students at this private school receive scholarships based on merit and need.


What is a government school?

A government school is a publicly funded educational institution.

Are teachers in government schools state employees?

Yes, they are typically employed by the state.

How is a private school different?

Private schools are independently funded and operated.

Do government schools charge tuition?

Generally, government schools are free or low-cost for residents.

Are private schools more expensive?

Private schools typically charge tuition and can be more expensive.

Who sets the curriculum in government schools?

The curriculum is usually set by state education departments.

Do government schools follow state testing standards?

Yes, they are required to adhere to state educational standards and testing.

Do private schools offer scholarships?

Many private schools offer scholarships and financial aid programs.

Can private schools set their own curriculum?

Yes, they often have the flexibility to create their own curricula.

What is the source of funding for government schools?

They are funded by government allocations and taxpayer money.

Can private schools have different assessment methods?

Private schools often have more autonomy in their assessment methods.

Is the quality of education better in private schools?

This varies greatly and depends on many factors including resources, teachers, and the specific school.

Do government schools have larger class sizes?

Often, government schools have larger class sizes compared to private schools.

How do private schools hire their teachers?

Private schools hire teachers independently, often based on the school's specific needs and philosophy.

Are government schools available to all students?

They are generally open to all students within their district.

Are private schools more diverse in their educational offerings?

Private schools often offer a wider variety of educational programs and philosophies.

Are government schools more regulated than private schools?

Yes, they typically face more regulations and oversight from government authorities.

How do private schools fund their operations?

Through tuition fees, donations, and private funding sources.

Can government schools offer religious education?

As public institutions, they generally do not offer religious education.

Can private schools be more selective in their admissions?

Yes, they often have selective admissions processes.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons