Recession fuels shift from private to public schools

The struggling economy is forcing many families to pull their children out of private schools and switch to public ones, a move with significant implications for all involved, USA Today reports. Although they’re saving money, many former private-school families are coming face-to-face with larger class sizes and the public school bureaucracy as they push to get services for their children. It’s too early to tell whether the recession has had a profound effect on public schools’ educational mission. But parents and educators across the nation say it’s already bringing subtle changes to the culture of many public schools, as some families seek the personal attention they received from private schools. Enrollment figures for the current school year won’t be available until next year, but the U.S. Department of Education‘s latest estimate finds that from 2006 to 2009, public school enrollment grew by nearly a half-million students, or about 1 percent, while private school enrollment dropped by about 146,000, or 2.5 percent. Government projections find that private schools could lose an additional 28,000 students this year, while public schools should gain 246,000…

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