Both the number of U.S. students attending private schools and the number of private schools serving them are decreasing, the National Center for Education Statistics estimates.
From fall 2001 to fall 2003, the enrollment at private schools dropped by 218,741 students, or 4 percent, according to the center, an arm of the U.S. Department of Education. In 2003, 5.1 million children were attending private schools, down from 5.3 million in 2001. Over the same period, the United States lost 889 private schools. In 2003, the nation had 28,384 schools.