Friday, March 15, 2013

Fewer Children are Attending Private Schools. What’s Going On?

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Data from several surveys, including the Current Population Survey and American Community Survey, show a decline in private school enrollment over the last decade. A working paper just released from the U.S. Census Bureau compares trends across datasets and subgroups and explores possible underlying causes of the decline in enrollment.

Here are a few basic findings from the white paper:
  • Data from several surveys show that, while overall school enrollment has been increasing, a decline in private school enrollment took place in the last decade. 
  • The decline in private school enrollment occurred at all school levels but was concentrated among schools that were larger, religiously affiliated, and in cities and suburbs. 
  • Preliminary analysis suggests that growth in charter schools may be contributing to private school enrollment declines. 
  • Growth in home schooling may be another factor. 
  • Data for Utah suggest that enrollments in charter schools have risen substantially while at the same time private-school enrollments have fallen.
To access the entire white paper, click here
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