For the past 50 years, roughly one in 10 U.S. families has chosen to enroll their children in private school. Historically, private schools have ranged widely in their annual fees; many programs, such as those run by the Catholic Church, were designed to be affordable and offered significant discounts for low-income families. However, the number of Catholic schools has fallen in recent years, while the number of nonsectarian private schools has increased. At the same time, income inequality and residential and school segregation by income have grown. How have these shifting trends affected private-school enrollment nationwide? Has expanding income inequality led to an increased concentration of affluent families at private schools? If so, has that fueled a broader increase in segregation at both public and private schools? To find out, read “Who Goes to Private School?” from the Fall 2018 edition of Education Next.

—Education Next

Last updated July 18, 2018