The School Choice Landscape: Enrollment, Costs, and Key Definitions

This graphic provides a breakdown of school-age children and where they are enrolled. It also defines charter schools, vouchers, and more.
SNAPSHOT | K-12 Sectors

The Choice Landscape

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The breakdown of school-age children and where they are enrolled.

K-12 Public Schools

K-12 Private, Independent Schools


Charter schools are independent public schools funded with taxpayer dollars that operate free from many of the laws and regulations that govern traditional public schools.

Education savings accounts set aside state money, usually based on its per-pupil funding formulas, in individual accounts for participating students. The money can be used for approved expenses, including private school, tutoring, online courses, transportation, or even some types of therapy.

School vouchers allow parents to use public funding allocated for their child toward tuition at a private school of their choice, including religiously affiliated private schools.

Tax-credit scholarships provide state tax-credits to incentivize businesses or individuals to donate money to a scholarship granting organization, which gives money to students to use toward private-school tuition.

SOURCES: U.S. Department of Education, EdChoice, National Association of Independent Schools

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A version of this article appeared in the December 14, 2016 edition of Education Week as The Choice Landscape