Georgia parents don’t choose private schools for their test scores, concludes More Than Scores, a study of the the state’s tax-credit scholarship program by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.
Parents who chose to use the scholarships at private schools cared most about disciplinary policies, learning climate, class sizes, safety and individual attention for their children.
Since 2008, Georgia students have been able to receive scholarships to private schools through nonprofits, which are funded by individual and corporate contributions. Donors get an offsetting state income tax credit.
Only 10.2 percent rated “higher standardized test scores” as one of their top five reasons for choosing a private school. Parents were most concerned about finding a safe, orderly school.
Most popular among respondents were:
“better student discipline” (50.9 percent),
“better learning environment” (50.8 percent),
“smaller class sizes” (48.9 percent),
“improved student safety” (46.8 percent), and
“more individual attention for my child” (39.3 percent).
Low-income parents give top priority to graduation rates and college acceptance rates in deciding on a school.