Private K-12 Schools

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 30,000 private K-12 schools in the US provide basic preparatory education for children in kindergarten through 12th grade. Elementary schools typically include grades kindergarten through six. Secondary schools typically include grade seven through twelve. Combined schools offer elementary and secondary education. The vast majority of K-12 private schools are non-profit organizations and about 66% of them are religion-based.

Dependence on Skilled Staff

Private school families expect high quality education from qualified, experienced teachers.

Competition from Alternative Education

In addition to standard public schools (which are free), private schools face competition from a variety of alternative sources, including charter schools, magnet schools, and home schooling.

Industry size & Structure

The average private K-12 school operates out of a single location, employs 10-26 workers and generates over $1 million in annual revenue.

    • The private K-12 school industry consists of over 30,000 schools that educate over 4.7 million students and employ about 481,000 teachers, according to the National Center for Education Statistics Private School Universe Survey.
    • Although tuition can vary significantly, average tuition is about $7,700 for elementary schools, $13,030 for secondary schools, and $13,640 for combined schools.
    • The vast majority of K-12 private schools are nonprofit organizations.
    • Most private schools are small institutions. About 21% of private schools have less than 150 students; 25% have between 150 and 299 students; 20% have between 300 and 499 students; and 34% have 500 students or more.
                            Industry Forecast
                            Private K-12 Schools Industry Growth
                            Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                            Recent Developments

                            Nov 14, 2023 - Moderate Revenue Growth Expected
                            • Private K-12 school revenue is forecast to grow at a 4.33% compounded annual rate from 2022 to 2027, comparable to the growth of the overall economy. Sources of revenue for private schools include tuition, private grants, donations, fundraisers, and income from endowments. Industry employment increased moderately during the first eight months of 2023.
                            • Demand for private school vouchers is exceeding supply in some states, according to the Associated Press. Higher-income families can now use taxpayer money to cover private school tuition in some states and more people than projected are taking the offer. School choice advocates argue that vouchers give students in low-performing schools a way out and increasingly give parents control over what their children are taught. Programs funded through vouchers, tax credits, or scholarships are now available in the majority of states. The programs were initially designed for lower-income students.
                            • Families reacting to post pandemic woes and an influx of voucher funds are increasingly turning to the growing number of so-called microschools, which often serve between five and 25 students, according to The Wall Street Journal. Approximately 125,000 microschools exist across the US, according to Don Soifer, chief executive of the National Microschooling Center. Microschools likely serve between one to two million students, said Michael McShane, director of national research at school choice advocacy group EdChoice. New voucher laws in some states provide more families with state funds for private-school tuition or home schooling and other academic expenses. The additional funding is helping to finance the growth in microschool enrollment, according to The Wall Street Journal.
                            • At least 10 states have implemented or expanded programs for vouchers and other state private education subsidies so far in 2023, according to Chalkboard Review, an education-focused website. The states are Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah, along with a pilot program in Tennessee. The governor of North Dakota vetoed such a plan, and bills failed in California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Texas, and Virginia. There are currently voucher and similar programs in 32 states and the District of Columbia, according to EdChoice, a free-market organization that promotes public money for private education. Voucher programs often are characterized in state legislation as “scholarship programs,” but regardless of the name, the policies result in a transfer of public money to private institutions. Some programs subsidize home-schooling. Some states are establishing what they call “education savings accounts.” The state puts money in such accounts for every student under 18, allowing parents to spend it on public, private, religious, or home-schooling costs.
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