December 10, 2020

Education Choice and Catholic Schools Data

How are catholic schools impacted by education choice programs?

Since their founding in the 19th Century, Catholic schools have been the largest provider of private education, particularly noted for serving economically disadvantaged and ethnic minority communities. Education choice programs, often due to their income-based and geographic eligibility requirements, tend to serve these same populations.

But how many education choice students attend Catholic schools?

Catholic Education Partners sought to answer this question with a snapshot of raw state government, diocesan, Catholic conference, and scholarship organization data for 28 programs across 20 states. These 16 scholarship tax credit and 12 voucher programs accounted for $1.8 billion of the $2.2 billion (81%) allocated for private school choice nationwide and 358,000 of the 466,000 (77%) participating students.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, Catholic schools do not dominate choice programs, but rather enroll students in line with their share of the overall private school market.

Please find our accompanying charts here.

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Shawn Peterson
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