This publication is organized into four chapters. Chapter 1 provides background information on the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of Non-Public Education, and the world of private schools in the United States. Chapter 2 provides information on U.S. Department of Education programs that provide benefits to students attending private schools. Chapter 3 discusses special initiatives at the U.S. Department of Education of interest to private school educators. Chapter 4 provides information on programs outside of the U.S. Department of Education.
The purposes of this handbook are: to inform representatives of children enrolled in private elementary and secondary schools of the resources available through federal education programs, so that those students and teachers can fully participate in services provided through these programs; and to provide other materials useful to public school officials who administer federal education programs on behalf of children attending private schools. This document is intended to provide helpful guidance. It creates no new rights or responsibilities. Readers are encouraged to consult the full text of relevant case law, statutes, and regulations.
Some programs and initiatives use the term "private school"; other programs and initiatives use the term "non-public school". Therefore, in this handbook, the terms "private school" and "non-public school" are used interchangeably.
To assist in this mission, the Department maintains ten regional offices located throughout the country. These regional offices, each directed by a Secretary's Regional Representative, provide leadership and assistance to local school systems, colleges and universities, businesses and community groups in support of local schools and the general public. A list of regional offices is available on the Department's web site.
The three functions of the Office of Non-Public Education are:
The Office of Non-Public Education works with the principal offices of the Department on matters of legislation, regulation, and policy when these matters concern private schools and their students, teachers, and families. Equally important, the Office of Non-Public Education works with a wide array of private school groups, bringing their concerns, ideas, and suggestions to the secretary, informing the private school leadership of departmental policy and initiatives, and serving as liaison between private school representatives and principal offices of the Department.
The Office of Non-Public Education can be reached by contacting:
Office of Non-Public Education
U.S. Department of Education
600 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-0122
The number of private schools in 1993-94, by type:
|PRIVATE SCHOOL TYPE||NUMBER OF SCHOOLS|
|ALL PRIVATE SCHOOLS||26,093|
According to these 1993-94 figures, Catholic schools comprise 32 percent of the total number of private schools; other religious schools comprise 47 percent of the total number of private schools; and non-sectarian schools comprise 21 percent of the total number of private schools. Three years earlier, in the 1990-91 Schools and Staffing Survey, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that Catholic schools were 35 percent of the total number of private schools; other religious were 47 percent of the total; and non- sectarian were 18 percent of the total number of private schools.
The figures for 1993-94 are depicted in the following pie chart:
There is a change in percentages when the number of students rather than the number of schools is considered. The following chart indicates the number of students in private schools following the nine category typology.
The number of students in private schools in 1993-94, by type:
|PRIVATE SCHOOL TYPE||NUMBER OF STUDENTS|
|ALL PRIVATE SCHOOLS||4,836,442|
The percentages represented by these enrollment figures are as follows: Catholic schools educate 51 percent of the private school population; other religious schools educate 34 percent of private school students; and non-sectarian schools educate 15 percent of the private school population. This compares with figures from the 1990-91 Schools and Staffing Survey of 55 percent of private school students educated in Catholic schools; 31 percent of private school students educated in other religious schools; and 14 percent of private school students educated in non-sectarian schools.
The following pie chart illustrates the percentage distribution of students in 1993-94:
A picture of the nation's private school enrollment emerges when comparing public and private school enrollment figures. Overall, private school students compose 11.1 percent of the school-age population in the United States. Enrollment by state is depicted on the following map3:
|Greater than 10 percent of school-age children enrolled in private school||California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Wisconsin|
|Seven percent to 9.9 percent of school-age children enrolled in private schools||Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington|
|Less than 7 percent of school- age children enrolled in private schools||Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming|
Additional statistics on private schools and their enrollment, including a breakdown of schools, students, and teachers by private school association membership; and by size, location, school level and program emphasis are available by calling or writing the National Center for Education Statistics, 555 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20208, phone 202/219-1828.
2. Unless otherwise noted, statistics in this section are derived from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics, Schools and Staffing Survey, 1993-94.
3. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Private School Survey, 1993-94 and U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Date surveys, Fall 1993.
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