Competition from charter schools has led to a small decline in private school enrollment, but the size of the effect is modest, according to a study of elementary schools in Michigan.
In a paper, posted this month by the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Columbia University, Teachers College, the researchers say that, when a charter school opens near a private school, the private school’s enrollment decreases by 1.19 percent each year.
The authors conclude that there isn’t much evidence that charter competition affects enrollment in Roman Catholic or other religious-affiliated schools more than nonreligious private schools. They cautioned, however, that raw enrollment numbers do not always tell the whole story as changes might result from pre-existing trends in private enrollment.
A version of this article appeared in the March 02, 2011 edition of Education Week as Private School Enrollment