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Religion and School Choice

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Religion has a complex influence on student enrollments and school outcomes, according to a study that analyzes the impact of both religious affiliation and religiosity on attendance at public, Catholic, Protestant, and nonsectarian private schools.

The report, by researchers at the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, found that, as expected, religious families prefer private schools that are affiliated with their own denomination, and nonreligious families prefer secular private schools. However, religiosity—defined as the degree of participation in church-related activities—has a strong and significant effect on the demand for private schooling.

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