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Choices in schools are changing

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About 90 percent of all schools in the U.S. are public schools, but the mix in the other 10 percent is changing.

Private school enrollment down
For grades pre-K through 12, total enrollment in private schools fell 134 percent from 7.3 million in 2006 to 6.3 million in 2016. Meanwhile, public schools saw an increase in their admission of 2 percent during that same period.

According to the Wall Street Journal, private schools took a hit during the 2008 recession causing a drop in enrollment at inexpensive Catholic schools. But the drop could also be caused by more choices in public schooling.

Charter school enrollment up
Charter schools saw an increase of 6 percent in the last 15 years with an enrollment of more than 5 percent of students in 42 states, according to niche.com.

The publicly funded but privately owned charters forge their own curriculums and often have values-based teaching.

Homeschooling steady — or rising
The number of homeschoolers is a matter of debate. Homeschooling rose in popularity from 1.7 percent in 1999 to 3.4 percent in 2012, according to the US Department of Education.

According to government figures, the percentage has held steady, with a slight decrease to 3.3 percent in 2015-2016.

The Home Education Research Institute estimates that homeschooling grew from 2 percent to 8 percent per year and is up a 25 percent in 16 key states.

Parents who homeschool generally cite bad school environment and a desire to give religious education or values as the reason for taking their kids out of public school.

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