But of the more than three million families with at least one child in private school, according to the 2005 census, almost two million of them have a household income of less than $100,000. According to a Department of Education survey, in 2003-4, the median annual tuition of nonsectarian schools was $8,200; for Catholic schools, $3,000.
So for every family that pays $30,000 and up to attend elite schools in Manhattan, thousands more will pay tuitions closer to $2,700 â€” next yearâ€™s cost for St. Agnes Catholic School in Roeland Park, Kan.
To many parents who step outside the public system, an independent or parochial school is not a luxury but a near necessity, the school itself a marker of educational values, religious identity, social standing or class aspirations.
Public education panders to the slowest kids in each class, because if you ignore the supposed victims, that looks really bad — worse than failing those who are competent and could go farther.
As a result, smart parents want nothing to do with public education.