The death of private education?

Published: Monday, May 20 2013 12:05 p.m. MDT

Private schools are facing a crisis as enrollment plumets .

Jim Young/Reuters

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Private schools are dying. At least that’s the argument Chester Finn is making in his recent piece in the Atalanic. Even if dying is a bit hyperbolic, “At the very least, it's headed for dramatic shrinkage, save for a handful of places and circumstances, to be replaced by a very different set of institutional, governance, financing and education-delivery mechanisms.”

Finn breaks the truth about private schools with statisctics. “Private K-12 enrollments are shrinking — by almost 13 percent from 2000 to 2010.” Even religiously funded private schools aren’t exempt from the downturn, “The Archdiocese of Philadelphia, for example, announced in January that 44 of its 156 elementary will cease operations next month. (A few later won reprieves.)”

But even if private education is dying in the states as Finn claims, he still gives some hope for those seeking alternatives to the public education system; charter schools are still doing fine. “The charter share of the primary-secondary population is 5 percent nationally and north of 20 percent in 25 major cities.“

Freeman Stevenson is a Snow College grad and is the DeseretNews.com opinion intern. Reach me at fstevenson@deseretdigital or @freemandesnews

Read more about private education suffering on the Atlantic.

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