Growth in Private Religious Schools
A specialist in private schools with the U.S. Office of Education, Dwight Crum, says of church schools: “Clearly they’re the fastest growing segment in private education today.” The reason given in “The Wall Street Journal” write-up on the subject is that Christian parents “decided that their children weren’t learning enough, and that much of what they were learning conflicted with their religious beliefs.” So, many parents have become fed up with the public schools. One estimate is that there are 5,000 church schools now, and they are still growing.
They stress the basics in education, do away with all the “frills” of the public schools and exercise strict discipline in their small classes, where individual attention is given to the students.
In some states there is controversy over state and federal regulations, especially over state approval of teachers and schools. In many states, however, officials are avoiding the clash, feeling that they have enough problems in their own public schools. Florida is one such state—which now has an estimated 300 church schools.
“‘I don’t think what we’re doing is an abdication of responsibility,’ says Ralph Turlington, Florida’s commissioner of education. ‘We’re not in a position to talk about somebody else’s standards until we get the public schools in order. How do we have the nerve to call the kettle black?’”