Private School – More Affordable Than You Think?

By Kyle Wingfield

A perennial argument against programs to expand educational options is that students wouldn’t receive enough to pay for private-school tuition. Critics cite tuition figures of $20,000 or more, focusing all of their attention on the very highest-end examples – typically, elite private schools in Atlanta.

But not every private school charges “elite” rates of tuition.

In fact, the website PrivateSchoolReview.com finds the average tuition for a private school in Georgia in 2021 was $10,584 for elementary schools and $11,677 for high schools.

The median tuition price was even lower: $8,390 for elementary schools, $9,000 for high schools.

By the way, the average amount spent by Georgia’s public schools in the 2019-2020 school year (the most recent data available) was $10,759. Of that total, the state contributed an average of $6,085.

That means an option such as an Education Scholarship Account that delivered something close to the state’s per-pupil funding would cover over half the average cost of private-school tuition, and about two-thirds of the median cost. A scholarship of $6,000 would cover the total tuition cost of about one-third of private elementary and high schools.

Letting state education dollars follow the child really would make a difference for many Georgia families. Opponents will have to find another excuse.

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