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Building a Case For School Choice

Building a Case For School Choice

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Better information about North Carolina’s private schools is the first step toward persuading legislators and policymakers to increase educational options for North Carolina families. To this end, the John Locke Foundation conducted a survey of North Carolina’s private schools to gather and analyze data on private schools generally not available to the public. This policy report provides a descriptive overview of questionnaire results of North Carolina’s private schools, focusing on private school academics, students, personnel, finance, and attitudes toward school choice.
Better information about North Carolina’s private schools is the first step toward persuading legislators and policymakers to increase educational options for North Carolina families. To this end, the John Locke Foundation conducted a survey of North Carolina’s private schools to gather and analyze data on private schools generally not available to the public. This policy report provides a descriptive overview of questionnaire results of North Carolina’s private schools, focusing on private school academics, students, personnel, finance, and attitudes toward school choice.

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Published by: John Locke Foundation on Dec 09, 2009
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Building a Case for School Choice:
Initial Results from a Survey of North Carolina’s Private Schools
Terry SToopS
June 2009
POLICY REPORT
 
Building a Case for School Choice:
Initial Rsults rom a Survy o North Carolina’s Privat Schools
TeRRy STooPS Jun, 2009
2 excutiv Summary 3 Introduction4 Privat Schools in North Carolina4 Privat School Qustionnair Procdur5 Survy Rsults6 Privat School Class Siz, Prsonnl, and Financial Avrags7 Studnt and Financial Inormation9 Tachr Qualifcations10 Support or School Choic13 Conclusion14 Survy 19 Nots20 About th Author
The views expressed in this report are solely those o the author and do not necessarily refect those o the sta or board o the John Locke Foundation. For more inormation,call 919-828-3876 or visit www.JohnLocke.org. ©2009 by John Locke Foundation.
 
Building a Case for sChool ChoiCe: initial results from a survey of north Carolina’s Private sChools
 ExEcutivE Summary
exc s
Better inormation about North Carolina’s privateschools is the rst step toward persuading legislatorsand policymakers to increase educational optionsor North Carolina amilies. To this end, the JohnLocke Foundation conducted a survey o NorthCarolina’s private schools to gather and analyzedata on private schools generally not available tothe public. This policy report provides a descrip-tive overview o questionnaire results o NorthCarolina’s private schools, ocusing on privateschool academics, students, personnel, nance, andattitudes toward school choice. 
Academic environment and students.
 
Among questionnaire respondents, the average class sizewas 14 students, and none o the private schoolsreported a class size o more than 30 students.The average private school enrollment was 198students, ranging rom our to 942 students perschool. Furthermore, approximately two-thirds o private schools reported that they served studentswith learning dierences and disabilities, and nearly50 percent o respondents said that they had theability to enroll more students with learning dier-ences and/or disabilities. 
Personnel.
The average private school surveyedhad an on-site, ull-time sta o 28. On average,eight sta members per school had primarily non-teaching assignments, while twenty sta memberswere teachers. The average annual salary o a ull-time private school teacher was $26,137. 
Finance.
According to tuition data provided byrespondents, a $5,000 scholarship would cover thecost o the average private elementary day schooltuition ($4,889 average). A $5,500 scholarshipwould cover the cost o the average private middleday school tuition ($5,410 average), and a $6,000scholarship would cover the cost o the averageprivate high school tuition in North Carolina ($5,916average). The average cost incurred by amilies orees and other expenses at North Carolina privateday schools was $403. Recognizing that someamilies have diculty paying or ees and tuition,over two-thirds o all private schools surveyed o-ered nancial aid. 
Attitudes toward school choice.
In general, privateschools support increasing school choice optionsor amilies. Over 86 percent o respondents wouldsupport a voucher program that would pay theull tuition amount. None o the private schoolssurveyed would oppose a tax credit program that would cover part or the entire tuition amount.Nearly 85 percent o private schools would support a program that would provide a voucher to theamilies o targeted categories o students.However, the prospect o government interer-ence worried many o the private schools surveyed.Approximately 70 percent o private schools saidthat they would not enroll children whose amiliesreceived public unds i it meant that the statewould increase oversight o their school. Morethan hal o the respondents would not enrollchildren whose amilies received public unds i the state compelled the school to administer stateachievement tests. Schools strongly opposedthe idea o abandoning admissions standards inexchange or enrolling children o amilies whoreceive a voucher or tax credit. Over 70 percent opposed any voucher or tax credit plan that wouldorce schools to abandon religious activities inexchange or public unds.Private religious schools were much less will-ing to accept government regulation or oversight than private schools with no religious aliation.Over 75 percent o religious schools would opposeincreased government regulation in exchange orpublic unds. Over 56 percent o independent schools would oppose additional government regulation in exchange or a voucher or tax credit.While 38 percent o independent schools wouldsupport urther regulatory control by the state,only ten percent o religious schools would agreeto urther government oversight.

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