Private Schooling

September 2, 1967

Report Outline
Growing Demand for Private Schooling
Desegregation and the Private Schools
Private Schools and the Public Interest
New Directions for Independent Schools

Growing Demand for Private Schooling

Turmoil in the public schools of numerous cities has added to an already growing interest in private schools. Many parents who formerly sent their children to public schools as a matter of course—from the first grade on through the 12th grade—are now for the first time considering putting them in private day or boarding schools. Racial disturbances in the cities and the disruptions attendant on efforts to desegregate public schools are contributing factors, but they do not tell the whole story.

Dissatisfaction with public education has been on the increase along with a sharp rise in school enrollment. The shortcomings of public schools in many districts have long been widely publicized. So has the importance of good schooling to qualify students for admission to college. More families than in the past are therefore willing to pay high tuition fees to protect college-bound children against a competitive disadvantage in the transition from secondary school to an institution of higher education. Though very few Americans have had much contact with private nonparochial schools, there is a generally prevailing assumption that they are superior to public schools.

Attendance at the so-called independent schools still represents less than 3 per cent of the country's total elementary and secondary school enrollment of 51 million students. But enrollment in private schools has been going up steadily, and the forces favoring a continuing increase are strong. Among the nearly 800 schools belonging to the National Association of Independent Schools, enrollment has been increasing at the rate of 3 to 4 per cent a year for the past two decades.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Religion and Schools
Dec. 20, 2002  Charter Schools
Feb. 15, 2002  School Vouchers Showdown
May 04, 2001  Faith-Based Initiatives
Jan. 12, 2001  Religion in Schools
Apr. 09, 1999  School Vouchers
Jul. 18, 1997  School Choice Debate
Feb. 18, 1994  Religion in Schools
May 10, 1991  School Choice
Aug. 16, 1983  School Prayer
Apr. 20, 1979  Private School Resurgence
Sep. 02, 1967  Private Schooling
Sep. 12, 1947  Religion in the Schools
Diversity Issues
Private Schools and Home Schooling
Segregation and Desegregation