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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Private schools lose middle-class students

Fewer middle-class families are sending their kids to private schools, in large part due to the closure of Catholic schools, researchers write in Education Next.

About nine percent of students attend private schools.

. . . private schools, like public schools, are increasingly segregated by income. In particular, the share of middle-income students attending private schools has declined by almost half, while the private-school enrollment rate of wealthy children has remained steady. Much of the decline among middle-income students is due to falling enrollment at Catholic schools, which have closed in droves in the past 20 years. Meanwhile, private-school enrollment among affluent students has shifted from religious to nonsectarian schools.

From 1959 to 2013, private-school enrollment declined for white students but “increased among black students, from 3 percent to 5 percent.”

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