• Research, Theory, and Analysis

    For years now, this phrase has been the tagline for Ideas & Perspectives, our flagship publication. The phrase not only reflects the content of our advisory letter, but it resides at the core of Independent School Management’s raison d'être—supporting private-independent school leaders.

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Provisions Related to Children With Disabilities Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools

Released March 2011. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that requires each state to ensure that a free appropriate public education (FAPE) is available to all eligible children with disabilities residing in that state. The information in this booklet explains the provisions related to, and benefits available to, children with disabilities who are enrolled by their parents in private schools, including religious schools, when the provision of FAPE is not at issue. In IDEA, these children are often referred to as “parentally placed private school children” with disabilities, and the benefits available to them differ from the benefits for children with disabilities in public schools.

Charter Private School Enrollment

Do Charter Schools Crowd Out Private School Enrollment? Evidence from Michigan

Released September 2010, revised February 2011. Though there have been numerous studies on the effects of charter schools, these have mostly been confined to analyzing their effects on student achievement, student demographic composition, parental satisfaction, and the competitive effects on regular public schools. This study departs from the existing literature by investigating the effect of charter schools on enrollment in private schools. To investigate this issue empirically, we focus on the state of Michigan, where there was a significant spread of charter schools in the 1990s. Using data on private school enrollment from biennial National Center for Education Statistics private school surveys, and using a fixed-effects as well as instrumental-variables strategy that exploits exogenous variation from Michigan charter law, we investigate the effect of charter school penetration on private school enrollment. We find robust evidence of a decline in enrollment in private schools—but the effect is only modest in size.

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Private Schooling in the U.S.: Expenditures, Supply, and Policy Implications

This report provides a first-of-its-kind descriptive summary of private school expenditures. It includes comparisons of expenditures among different types and affiliations of private schools, and it also compares those expenditures with public school expenditures for districts in the same state and labor market. Citation: Baker, B. (2009). Private schooling in the U.S.: Expenditures, supply, and policy implications. Boulder and Tempe: Education and the Public Interest Center & Education Policy Research Unit. Retrieved January 2011 from http://epicpolicy.org/publication/private-schooling-US

Vouchers Tax Credits

Do Vouchers and Tax Credits Increase Private School Regulation?

Released October 4, 2010. School voucher and education tax credit programs have proliferated in the United States over the past two decades. Advocates have argued that they will enable families to become active consumers in a free and competitive education marketplace, but some fear that these programs may in fact bring with them a heavy regulatory burden that could stifle market forces. Until now, there has been no systematic, empirical investigation of that concern. This "Working Paper" developed by the Cato Institute sheds light on the issue by quantifying the regulations imposed on private schools both within and outside school choice programs, and then analyzing them with descriptive statistics and regression analyses. The results are tested for robustness to alternative ways of quantifying private school regulation, and to alternative regression models, and the question of causality is addressed. The study concludes that vouchers, but not tax credits, impose a substantial and statistically significant additional regulatory burden on participating private schools.

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Full Steam Ahead: Cutting Edge Research and Opinion for Excellent Independent Schools

In the Spring 2010 edition of Independent School, NAIS, writes persuasively and interestingly in the article, “A Game-Changing Model for Financially Sustainable Schools.” ISM has written the following commentary concerning the issue of sustainability and the points that NAIS makes. ISM concurs that there is a “game changer” in private education and that this game changer will be evidenced in the finances of schools—but the finances of schools are the wrong focus for understanding what the change is.

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Full Steam Ahead: Part 2: Cutting Edge Research and Opinion for Excellent Independent Schools

As a follow-up to ISM’s “Full Steam Ahead” report, we partnered with Measuring Success to conduct a price elasticity study with 140 private schools across the United States to determine if there truly is a “tipping point” when setting tuition. The following report provides the results of that study, with the key finding that there is no mathematical relationship between tuition change and enrollment.

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