Research Shows Middle Class Needs School Choice Too

August 02, 2018

By Adam Peshek

New research just published by Education Next indicates that enrollment in private schools is falling among middle-income students, while high-income and low-income student enrollment in private schools is holding steady.

A closer look reveals that private school choice programs are keeping the private school sector from experiencing an even wider low- and high-income enrollment gap. The precipitous decline in private school enrollment among middle-income students makes the case for expanding choice programs to working class families.

The researchers, including Richard Murnane of Harvard and Sean Reardon of Stanford, studied private school enrollment trends between 1968 and 2013. They estimate the proportion of students enrolled… at the 10th, 50th, and 90th percentiles of the income distribution, which they refer to as low-, middle-, and high-income.