Private Schools Half as Expensive as Public Schools: Cost-Effective Way to Ease Enrollment Growth

Posted on January 05, 2005 | Type: Press Release
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PHOENIX-A new annual survey of Arizona private schools finds average private elementary and middle school tuition is $3,700, less than half the average per-pupil public school expenditure of $7,800. Average private high school tuition is $5,500.

The survey released today also reveals that private schools could help offset the burden placed on public schools by Arizona's booming student population growth, expected to top one million within five years. There are currently 26,000 seats available in private schools. Transferring just 26,000 students to private schools could save over $200 million annually in Arizona, which ranks first in the nation for highest capital outlays and second for interest on school debt.

The survey also found that among Arizona private schools

  • 89 percent offer financial aid;
  • 93 percent require annual standardized testing;
  • 78 percent offer kindergarten programs;
  • 13 percent of staff is in administration, compared to 50 percent in public schools;
  • Student/teacher ratios average 14:1, compared to 18:1 in public schools.

Private schools and policies that make full use of Arizona's education marketplace will be discussed at the annual Goldwater Institute Education Conference on January 20. The Goldwater Institute report, Survey of Arizona Private Schools: Tuition, Testing, and Curricula, is online here.

Contacts:

Vicki E.J. Murray, Ph.D., Director, Goldwater Institute Center for Educational Opportunity, (602) 462-5000 x 229, vmurray@goldwaterinstitute.org

Andrea Woodmansee, Director of Communications, Goldwater Institute, (602) 462-5000x 226, awood@goldwaterinstitute.org

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