Annual Data Report Charts Private School Enrollment Dip
Decreasing numbers of religious-school students are driving the declines
Student enrollment in private, religious schools has taken a sharp dip since the economic downturn, as district and public charter school enrollment climbs, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s latest “Condition of Education” report.
Private school enrollment fell from a high of 6.3 million students in the 2001-02 school year to 5.5 million in 2009-10, according to figures released last month by the National Center for Education Statistics, which produces the annual statistical compendium. “It’s been slight declines, and then all of a sudden this year [2009-10] they lost 500,000 kids,” said Jack Buckley, the NCES commissioner.
Overall, private schools served about 10 percent of the nation’s kindergarten through 12th grade students in 2009-10, down from a high of 12 percent in 1996. During the same period, public school enrollment increased by 2.1 million students, to 49.3 million students,...
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