It's been roughly 20 months since the coronavirus struck the United States, putting private schools – which are largely reliant on parents who pay voluntarily – in a precarious position. Cato Institute undertook a survey to determine just how harmful the pandemic would be for such schools. According to Cato's Neal McCluskey, the initial findings were grim.
"They said they were permanently closing their doors, at least in part, because the financial situation they were facing looked too dire to continue operating," he tells AFN. "… They thought COVID and the lockdowns and response to COVID were going to damage the economy so much that they wouldn't be financially viable."
But according to McCluskey – director of Cato's Center for Educational Freedom – as the 2020-2021 school year progressed, things improved.
"The data we could cobble together is consistent with what we've seen anecdotally from media reports through much of last school year and the beginning of this school year – which is that private schools seem to be staying in business and appear to be gaining enrollment," says the Cato spokesman.
He says, in part, the reason for the increase in private school enrollment is that parents increasingly feel public schools haven't been responsive to them and their needs.
Read Neal McCluskey's related article:
Survey: Private schools appear to see rising enrollment, this year and last