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News Education Private school enrollment in N.C. falls for third consecutive year

The N.C. Division of Non-Public Education has released its 2011-12 conventional non-public school statistics, which includes only students enrolled in private K-12 schools. Home School statistics for 2011-12 will be available in August.

A total of 695 private K-12 schools were registered statewide for the 2011-12 school year. Only 11 counties in the state did not have a conventional non-public school operating within them. Approximately 67.3 percent of the 2011-12 schools were religious schools, collectively enrolling about 69.8 percent of the conventional nonpublic school students.

The total private K-12 school statewide enrollment dropped during the 2011-12 year to 96,096, a consecutive three-year decline in enrollment. In 2009-10, enrollment was 96,421 and 2010-2011 the enrollment was 96,229 after reaching an all-time record of 98,545 students in 2008-09.

Grade levels with largest enrollments were kindergarten, with 8,645, followed by grade 6, enrolling 8,083 students. Counties with the highest overall enrollments include Mecklenburg with 19,545 students; Wake with 16,135 students, and Guilford with 6,647 students. Wake and Mecklenburg counties experienced a slight increase in enrollment over 2010-11, while Guilford experienced a decrease. Male students continue to slightly outnumber females, accounting for about 50.2 of the conventional non-public school statewide enrollment.

According to the N.C. Division of Non-Public Education website, Macon County had a total of 59 students enrolled in non-public schools, Trimont Christian Academy and Macon County Juvenile School. Jackson County had a total of 147 students enrolled in Victory Christian School, Heritage Christian Academy and SOAR School.

For more detailed statistical information, visit the N.C. Division of Non-Public Education website at Click on Conventional Non-Public Schools and then on Private Grade K-12 School Statistics. State of North Carolina non-public school statistics are available back to the 1961-62 school year.

Even though non-public schools pre-date North Carolina’s public school system, a state government agency dealing with the state’s non-public schools was not established until 1961. The state’s oldest continuously operating non-public school dates back to 1772.

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