Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Thomas L. Good
For American students sixteen years of age or younger, public school attendance has been compulsory since a Supreme Court ruling in 1925. Choice in American schools was traditionally the option of the wealthy, who could pay for private education. Private schools over the past century have enrolled about 12 percent of American students, especially within the past twenty years; choice of school has been significantly expanded in the form of vouchers, charter schools, home-schooling, and magnet schools. This entry looks at existing forms of school choice and reviews some of the comparative literature. At present, based on information from the Center for Educational Reform, there are about 51,000,000 students involved in K-12 schooling; the vast majority of these students are enrolled in traditional public schools. Students not attending public schools include about 5,200,000 in private schools; 2,500,000 in Catholic schools; 800,000 in charter schools; and 1,100,000 being homeschooled. The percentage ...