The Nonpublic Schools and the Public Purse : A Financial Study of Roman Catholic Schools in Rhode Island.

by Herbert J. Kiesling

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback25 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

Faced with declining enrollment and rising costs, U.S. Catholic schools decreased by 5 percent between 1963 and 1968. Eleven states subsidize nonpublic, church-controlled schools in some way. Public school expenditures in 1967 averaged over $700 per pupil; 15 representative Rhode Island parochial schools spent $103--up from $42 in 1958. This increase reflects living costs of nuns and brothers, a decline in religious vocations causing an increase in lay teachers, and smaller classes, especially in low-income parishes. Yearly fees, averaging $12 for a middle-income parish and $34 for a high-income parish, hardly account for the 13 percent drop in enrollment. Higher fees in poorer parishes, averaging $42, may account for part of their 27 percent decline. How to prevent the collapse of religious schools in the United States is not clear. But if all their present pupils enroll in public schools, public education costs will increase at least 13 percent--$3.5 billion--plus at least $500,000,000 for buildings. 25 pp.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.