Private School Enrollment Info from NCES 2014 Condition of Education

Source of summary: OII Non-Public Education Listserv

[Recently], the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released The Condition of Education 2014.  Under a congressional mandate to give a yearly account to Congress on the state of U.S. education, NCES produces The Condition of Education (COE).  The report covers the broad field of American education from pre-kindergarten through graduate school via a compilation of statistical information that includes data from as recent as early March 2012.  It contains 42 key indicators of progress in the field presented in four sections: Population Characteristics, Participation in Education, Elementary and Secondary Education, and Postsecondary Education.  Special COE analyses referred to as Spotlights cover a variety of topics such as trends in employment rates to mobility in the teacher workforce.  A short NCES produced YouTube video titled What is the Condition of Education? features historical COE information, several COE indicators, and the dynamic nature of COE.

Trends in Private School Enrollment

Overall, private school enrollment remains at 10 percent for all elementary and secondary school students (2011-12) (indicator 10).  Though this percentage is relatively steady, it is worthwhile to note that over a ten-year period (2001-02 to 2011-12) the number of private school students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 decreased by one million.  In contrast, the number of private school children in grades 9 through 12 increased from 1.2 million to 1.3 million (1995-96 to 2011-12).  This is growth of about eight percent.

There were also changes in enrollments across different types of private schools.  Students attending Catholic schools totaled 2.1 million pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students in the 2011-12 school year.  This is a decrease of 0.6 million students over a sixteen-year period (from 1995-96).  In contrast, the number of nonpublic school students enrolled in unaffiliated schools increased almost 14 percent from 1995-96 through 2011-12.  Unaffiliated schools are defined as having a more general religious orientation or purpose.  Overall, Catholic schools continue to maintain the largest share of total private school enrollment at 40 percent (2011-12).

Statistics Related to Private Schools

The publication includes several reference tables with data on private elementary and secondary school enrollment.  The 2014 COE website contains a complete list of reference tables for each of the document’s four sections.  Please note that throughout the year as new data is released the COE indicators are updated.

Tables to Note

·         Data on private elementary and secondary enrollment in Table 205.20Digest of Education Statistics 2013.

·         Data on percentage distribution of students enrolled in private elementary and secondary schools, by school orientation and selected characteristics in Table 205.30, Digest of Education Statistics 2013.

·         Data on private school enrollment in educational institutions, by level and control of institution in Table 3Digest of Education Statistics 2012.

·         Data on teachers and pupil/teacher ratios (public and private) in Table 208.20Digest of Education Statistics 2013.

Source of summary: OII Non-Public Education Listserv


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