The parents of about 10 percent of Minnesota's K-12 students send their children to private schools in search of a more rigorous academic tradition or, in the case of parochial schools, religious instruction.
Figures released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau show that more than 101,000 of Minnesota's 975,733 students in grades K-12 in 2000 attended private schools.
Counting preschool students, nearly 13 percent of Minnesota children attended private schools -- up slightly from less than 12 percent in 1990, according to the 2000 Census.
Lynn Roberts, a parent, recites a list of reasons why she pulled her three girls out of public schools and sent them to private schools.
"Overwhelming, huge, not challenging," said the Minneapolis single mom of her daughters' public schools. "It just wasn't a good experience."
According to a new category of census data, Roberts' girls, who are biracial, belong to an even smaller subset -- minority kids in private schools.
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