A private school is an independent educational institution which does not receive funding from public sources or the government. Families who send their children to private schools including parochial, religious, or boarding schools must pay tuition. Some private schools offer scholarships for qualified students with financial needs.
Most private schools are Christian or Catholic schools, but they may also be non-religious charter schools, as well as preparatory (prep schools) schools, or private K-12, middle schools and high schools. These schools are not required to meet the accreditation standards of public schools and instead operate under various accreditation guidelines. Charter schools, in particular, are often focused on meeting the needs of a specific group of students, and their curricula may differ substantially from that of nearby public schools in the same local area.