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Friday, March 15, 2013

Private school enrollment down in United States

Over the last decade, fewer children attended private schools and more enrolled in charter schools, according to a working paper published by Stephanie Ewert, U.S. Census Bureau, who researches social issues.

Although  private schools provide certain benefits to children which may be unavailable in public schools - such as special academic programs, extracurricular activities, religious education, smaller class size and student-teacher ratios -  child abuse, rising tuition costs, and growth in the number of charter schools are factors listed for declining enrollment.

According to the report, Catholic school systems  are struggling due to changing demographics of the Catholic population and sex abuse scandals. In 1960, 5.2 million students were enrolled in 13,000 Catholic schools in the U.S. In 2006, only 2.3 million students were enrolled in 7,500 Catholic schools.

Other factors listed for the decline in private school enrollment are linked to the recession and an increase in home schooling.

The report focused on the decline in private school enrollment of non-Hispanic whites, however, and no clear patterns of blacks and Asians in private schools over the period were examined. 

To read the full report, go to:

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