Over the past school year, we’ve talked with several private elementary school insiders about the impact of public school budget woes on private elementary schools. Now that the admissions cycle for Fall 2010 is completed, some private school insiders believe that public school budget cuts, negative press and other challenges have caused some parents to apply to private elementary schools at the kindergarten and other grade levels at a higher rate than usual. This trend, they believe, will continue next year. Next year may also find families from Beverly Hills Unified, who were on out-of-district permits that are no longer allowed, applying to private elementary schools.
And, this perceived trend away from public schools may be responsible for less movement on wait-lists at top schools this year than in previous years. Apparently, there has been very little movement on wait-lists so far this admissions cycle at the top private elementary schools. In other words, very few families are being accepted from wait-lists, according to one of our well-connected sources. This is in contrast to last year where there was quite a bit of wait-list movement. However, that’s not to say there is no wait-list movement, just not a lot. We do know several families this year who have been accepted from wait-lists already.
One school official told us that the single most important factor this year driving admissions to private elementary schools has been the exit of public school families to private schools. Obviously, this information is anecdotal. We have friends at LAUSD and Santa Monica Unified who are very happy with their public elementary schools and are busy fundraising like crazy to fill the budget gaps. Nonetheless, we are always curious about private elementary school trends and like to share this information on the blog.
We know at least a few of you are as interested in this stuff as we are!