Sunday, May 17, 2009

Private School Statistics

The following are some statistics I was able to look at about private school attendance in the US as well as about tuition costs. Interesting to note that when it comes to tuition costs, yeshivas don't fall into the same money range as other religious schools but come out on the high end of the non-sectarian private schools.

Private School Statistics at a Glance
PK-12 Enrollment (2009)
6,049,000 (11% of all US students)
# of Schools (2007-08)
33,740 (25% of all US schools)
Enrollment Source: National Center for Education Statistics (see table)School Source: National Center for Education Statistics (see table)

Where do private school students go to school?
1989-90 2007-08
Catholic 54.5% 42.5%
Nonsectarian 13.2% 19.4%
Christian 10.9% 15.2%
Baptist 5.8% 5.5%
Lutheran 4.4% 3.7%
Jewish 3.2% 4.7%
Episcopal 1.7% 2.1%
Adventist 1.6% 1.1%
Calvinist 0.9% 0.6%
Friends 0.3% 0.4%
Source: National Center for Education Statistics (PSS Survey)

Average Private School Tuition: 2003-04

All Levels Elementary Secondary K-12 Schools
All Schools
Other Religious
Source: Table 56, Digest of Education Statistics 2007, National Center for Education Statistics.

Where do the children of the wealthy go to school? In December 2006, the U.S. Census Bureau released data on the social and economic characteristics of students enrolled in the nation’s schools in October 2005. It turns out that of the eight million youngsters in grades K-12 who come from families with annual incomes of $100,000 or more, 80 percent (6.4 million) attend public schools and 20 percent (1.6 million) attend private schools.

Info above taken from


Allen said...

These statistics could use some context but they still are interesting.

1.6 million private school parents out of 6+ million private school students earn $100K or above--so all the rest are earning less. We need to know how many students those parents have in school as opposed to those who make less than $100K.

For 03-04 religious schools averaged $5+K for elementary and $9.5K for high school. Either yeshivas always were on the high end of tuition or something happened between 03-04 and 09 to send tuitions skyrocketing for yeshivas. We also need to figure in that the very right wing yeshivas, the chasidishe schools, do not charge the type of tuitions you see as you travel left--they are way lower. Because they have large enrollment numbers (re your posting last week) they bring down the average costs, which does not reflect the reality for those sending kids to other Jewish schools.

In 07-08 the number of students in Jewish schools was 50% higher than in 89-90. At least one year ago the trend was for more kids in yeshivas, not less. When people argue that parents are pulling their kids out of yeshivas that isn't supported by the statistics, and I don't think that the one year from 08 to 09 would show us a huge statistical drop in attendance.

Yossi said...

So how is it that other religious groups have lower costs then yeshivas do? Is there school day really all that much shorter? I'm pretty sure that the Catholic schools at least use public school type teachers with full qualifications for the regular part of their program and they have a lot of teachers unions that get the salaries up there. They've got tons of extra curricular activities. What are they doing to hold down costs?

Orthonomics said...

Yossi asks a question I've been asking for a long time. The first step to trying to get out of this mess should be a little research. We should be sending out our administrators, board members, lay people, to find out what other schools are doing right and what we can emulate.

Glen said...

You can't compare the Catholic schools with the Jewish schools re the money because they are organized and funded differently. All Catholic schools in a particular diocese are under the control of that diocese. The diocese has the power to close any schools it believes are too small or to merge them with other schools. The schools don't have a say in that matter. Funding for the schools is also under the diocese. Parents pay tuition to an individual school but if a school has a shortfall the diocese can bail it out. Schools with more money end up with some of that money being used for schools with less money.

The diocese is also terrific about negotiating for products and services for its member schools, private and governmental. And then there is the property that the Church owns which generates income that can support church activities like the schools. There is also that the church religious instructors like priests and nuns aren't getting paid like yeshiva teachers are.

The church is having a bit of a hard time right now because most of the latino immigrants are catholic and many haven't got the money to pay even a fairly reasonable tuition. The Irish and Italian Catholics already here may not be gazillionaires but they can pay the tuitions. But the latino immigrants want the church schools and it's putting a heavy burden on the dioceses to figure out how to encourage the catholic schools but still have mostly paying parents. In poorer areas they just can't accept all the students because there isn't enough money to cover them. The Jewish schools acceptt the students first and ask questions afterwards, like how they are goiing to get the money if the parents don't have any.

Orthonomics said...

The Catholic schools no doubt have their own demographic challenges. But most Protestant schools are not run by diocese, but rather by individual churches.

One key, unfortunately, might be to ask for questions/require payment up front. I don't think that will go over well with all, but if we are talking about saving a "system," . . . . . . . . . .

I finally got curious and checked out the website for a Protestant denominational school I drive by on a regular commute. This school is lower in cost. Seems one of the secrets is one teacher per class and combined grade classes where enrollment tapers off.