Enrollment up for charter and private schools

Enrollment up for charter and private schools
Published: Nov. 3, 2023 at 6:37 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The pandemic had a lasting effect on many different areas of the community - and a new report from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction shows one of those was the interest in private and charter schools.

The report shows charter schools are getting more popular, while public school districts are seeing flat or slightly lower enrollment after the pandemic. here at John Paul II High School, they saw a significant increase in student enrollment, and they say some major factors could have played a role.

New student enrollment data shows rates at private and charter schools are rising, with almost 150,000 students attending charter and lab schools this current school year.

Private schools are also seeing higher numbers. This trend emerged after the pandemic. The director of admissions at John Paul II High School, a private Catholic institution, says the pandemic tested each school’s ability to adapt.

Doug Smith, John Paul II High School Director of Admissions, said “Unfortunately, some schools could not do that and it’s about what is the best fit for each individual child and there are some children that online instruction was not a good fit for them, so families needed to find places for their child to have in-person instruction.”

Smith told WITN that other contributing factors to higher enrollment for the private school were having a committee dedicated to admissions, growing certain programs, and word of mouth.

Meanwhile, 115 public schools in the state lost 4,872 students.

Joshua Breazeale, the executive director of Parents for Public Schools of Pitt County, says he chose to send his children to public schools and feels this trend might jeopardize the future of public education.

Breazeale shared, “I understand the need for school choice, and we have school choice in this county with open enrollment as far as public schools go, but taking the funding from public schools to open new charter schools and new private schools that don’t have the same oversight is a big concern to me.”

There’s also a growing number of families choosing to home-school. those students have more than doubled from 2022-2023, compared to 2007-2008.