A Snapshot of African American Enrollments in Private Schools

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education offers a wide variety of statistics on private school K-12 education in the United States. During the 2015-16 academic year, there were 34,576 private schools operating in the United States. They enrolled 4.9 million students and employed more than 480,000 teachers. About two thirds of all private school students attended educational institutions that were affiliated with religious groups.

The data also includes some information about the racial makeup of the student bodies at private schools. Of all private school students in the 2015-16 academic year, 9.3 percent were Black. African Americans made up 7.8 percent of all students in Catholic schools and 10.6 percent of the students at other religiously affiliated educational institutions. Blacks were 10.6 percent of all students at schools affiliated with conservative Christian organizations.

Blacks had a slightly smaller percentage of total enrollments in elementary schools than they did at secondary schools. African Americans were 6.7 percent of all students in Montessori schools, which tend to be for younger children. Blacks are 19.1 percent of all private schools dedicated to special education.

The full report, Characteristics of Private Schools in the United States: Results From the 2015–16 Private School Universe Survey, may be downloaded by clicking here.

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