New Report Examines the Racial Makeup of Private Schools in the United States

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education offers a detailed look at private K-12 schools in the United States, enrollments at these schools and faculty members at these institutions.

During the 2017-18 academic year, there were more than 32,000 private schools operating in the United States. About two thirds of these were affiliated with a religious group. Overall, there were nearly 4.9 millions students in these schools and they employed more than 482,000 teachers.

The report includes some information on private schools enrollments by racial/ethnic group. Black students accounted for 9.3 percent of all private school students in the United States. This is a far lower percentage than the Black percentage of all students in the nation’s public school systems. African Americans made up 7.6 percent of all students in Catholic schools and 11.6 percent of the students in conservative Protestant Christian schools.

African Americans accounted for 6.9 percent of the students in Montessori schools and 18.5 percent of students at schools that served special education students. Blacks were 12.4 percent of the private school students in the South but only 4.7 percent of the private school students in the West. African Americans were 12 percent of all students who attended small private schools that had less than 50 students. But Blacks were only 6 percent of all students who attended larger private schools with 750 or more students.

The full report, Characteristics of Private Schools in the United States: Results From the 2017–18 Private School Universe Survey, may be downloaded by clicking here.

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