Does California Offer Financial Support for Private Schools?

In California, there are no state-funded programs that provide public money for private school tuition, with the exception of when a public school district places a student with a disability in a nonpublic school. Parents are responsible for paying private school tuition, without any significant government assistance or subsidy. Although tuition is expensive and not tax-deductible, donations to private school scholarship funds are usually deductible since private schools are almost always non-profit organizations. Some private schools refer to themselves as non-profit schools to emphasize this point.

If you have the chance, tell Ric Grenell not to be an obstructionist when it comes to School Choice, and if he does choose to be an obstructionist, remember that when he runs for office. Schools that did not apply for the second round of Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) loans are eligible for the funds. Realizing that all schools were struggling due to Covid, Congress offered help this year for both private and public schools. The Department of Education made it clear in an FAQ section in September that states should prioritize attendance at non-public schools that enroll low-income students and that have been most affected by the pandemic.

Following the proposal that was approved by the Attorney General's Office to start collecting signatures last month, many groups quickly expressed opposition to the initiative, particularly public school teacher groups and unions. Homeschooling is when parents homeschool their children instead of sending them to regular schools. Increased costs related to moving students out of public schools, more than offset by lower public school spending. The magnitude of the reductions would depend on the number of public school students moving to private schools and would likely vary significantly for individual school districts and charter schools across the state.

California law requires all children between the ages of 6 and 18 to attend public school, private school, or homeschool. Making an informed decision starts with knowing your options; you may have more school options than you think. For instance, private schools can be faith-based schools, non-sectarian Montessori schools, or schools designed for children with learning differences. The following is a list of recent charter school bills that have been introduced or approved by the California state legislature.

The largest source of funding is an allocation from the state General Fund and local property revenues that the Constitution requires to be set aside for the public school system. Once the state determined the amount, public schools would need to reduce their operating budgets accordingly, likely through a series of measures that included reductions in staffing and programs. In other cases, a student may select a private school where the costs exceed the amount provided by the state. Each participation agreement would automatically renew until the student graduated or transferred to a different school.

Jillian Serda
Jillian Serda

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