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 34,500 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 32,400 schools that educate over 5.7 million students and employ about 482,000 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

                            Mar 5, 2023 - Minnesota Charter And Private School Enrollment Increases
                            • Minnesota public school districts lost an increasing number of students to charter and private schools in 2022, according to the state Department of Education. Total school district enrollment dropped by 4,057 students, or .5% from fall 2021. Charter schools gained 1,263 students (2%) and private schools 2,507 (3.6%), while home schools lost 1,378 (5%). About 82.4% of Minnesota students are attending public school districts in 2023, down a full 2 percentage points from fall 2019.
                            • A new Iowa law allows any student who wants to attend a private school to use public money to pay for tuition or other expenses. Iowa is the third state to pass a measure that allows such spending. The program is expected to cost $345 million per year and will allow any Iowa family, regardless of income, to apply for $7,600 per student each year to be placed in an education savings account and used to pay private school expenses.
                            • The Supreme Court has ruled that Maine violated the US Constitution when it refused to make public funding available for students to attend schools that provide religious instruction. The dispute before the court in Carson v. Makin began as a challenge to the system that Maine uses to provide a free public education to school-aged children. In some of the state’s rural and sparsely populated areas, school districts opt not to run their own secondary schools. Instead, they choose one of two options: sending students to other public or private schools that the district designates or paying tuition at the public or private school that each student selects. But in the latter case, state law allows government funds to be used only at schools that are nonsectarian – that is, schools that do not provide religious instruction.
                            • Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts said that Maine pays tuition for some students to attend private schools as “long as the schools are not religious.” “That,” Roberts stressed, “is discrimination against religion.” It does not matter, Roberts continued, that the Maine program was intended to provide students with the equivalent of a free public education, which is secular. The focus of the program, Roberts reasoned, is providing a benefit – tuition to attend a public or private school – rather than providing the equivalent of the education that students would receive in public schools.
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