Where are definitions of "private" and "public" schools for table B14002? (How are charter schools and homeschooling captured?)


Does anyone know where I can find additional documentation on some definitions for the school enrollment (B14XXX) tables?  Specifically, what is included in public vs. private, e.g., charter schools and homeschooling.  From the questionnaires  it seems that home school is considered private (although I'd like to confirm this), but no reference of charter schools is there.



  • Hi Diana,

    A great resource for questions like these is the Subject Definitions document (linked to here: www.census.gov/.../code-lists.html), though in this case, it doesn't provide direct answers.

    On page 123, it's implied that homeschooling is classified as private school, though weirdly it isn't stated directly: "Field interviewers were instructed to classify individuals who were home schooled as enrolled in private school."

    It doesn't mention charter schools, though public schools are defined as "any school or college controlled and supported primarily by a local, county, state, or federal government." Since charter schools are supported (if not controlled) by government, I'd imagine they're considered public, but I agree that more clarity would help.

  • In reply to Bernie:

    Thanks to Bernie for digging into the ACS subject definitions. The handling of home schooling and, in particular, charter schools by the ACS is something that is crying out for more clarity. I am by no means convinced that many or even the majority of charter school parents would consider their children to be attending a public school. In many areas these programs are positioned as alternatives to public schools, so the source of confusion is understandable.