Education Week reports on the latest U.S. Department of Education findings on enrollment in private, religious schools.
Private school enrollment fell from a high of 6.3 million students in the 2001-2002 school year to 5.5 million in 2009-2010, according to figures released this morning by the National Center for Education Statistics, which produces the annual statistical compendium. ''It's been slight declines, and then all of a sudden this year [2009-2010] they lost 500,000 kids,'' said Jack Buckley, the NCES commissioner.
Overall, private schools served about 10 percent of the nation's kindergarten through 12th-grade students in 2009-2010, down from a high of 12 percent in 1996. During the same period, public school enrollment increased by 2.1 million students, to 49.3 million students, from 2001 to 2009.