Parents of at least some means are eyeing private schools more frequently.

Why it matters: Christopher Lubienski, an education policy professor at Indiana University, told Axios that parents' growing interest in private schools, pods and tutors will likely "promote privatization" in the U.S. education system and could "undercut the commitment to public education."

The big picture: Lubienski said a surge in enrollment at private schools could lead to greater inequality among families who don't have the resources to go beyond the public education system.

  • The privatization of the school system could lead to “greater social segregation” between students of different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Public schools are "one of the few remaining institutions that temper inequality," Lubienski notes.

Between the lines: A poll from the nonprofit Murmuration and Morning Consult suggests Black parents and children lacked the same access to high-quality public education before the pandemic as their white counterparts.

The state of play: Private schools also feel the pressure to commit to in-person learning because they fear enrollment will drop, resulting in a loss in tuition and profit, the Poynter Institute notes.

  • In the Washington, D.C., area, the Silver Oaks Cooperative School, a small K-5 school just outside the city, has seen a surge in parents looking to enroll their children, WAMU reports. The school opened two years ago and has seen its reputation leap as parents vie to get their children into a classroom.
  • In St. Paul, Minnesota, St. Joseph Catholic School has a waitlist for the first time, with inquiries "off the charts," per the Star Tribune.
  • In Sacramento, California, the Brookfield School, a private elementary school, has seen about four times the interest in admissions as in previous years, the Sacramento Bee notes.

What to watch: The surge in private school enrollments, education pods and private tutors could ultimately move support away from public schools in a post-coronavirus world.

Go deeper

Parents of 545 children separated at southern border remain unfound

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. cannot locate the parents of 545 migrant children separated under a 2017 pilot program as part of President Trump’s immigration policy, NBC News first reported, citing a filing from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Why it matters: The number of parents who are currently considered “unreachable” is larger than was previously known. Search efforts have grown increasingly difficult given the time that has passed between when the children were released from federal custody and when volunteers started trying to find them.

Trump and Biden clash over immigration, family separation policy

President Trump defended his now-reversed family separation policy at the third presidential debate Thursday, claiming children were brought to the U.S. "by coyotes and lots of bad people," while Joe Biden said it "violates every notion of who we are as a nation."

Driving the news: A court filing revealed this week that the U.S. government cannot locate the parents of 545 migrant children separated under a 2017 pilot program as part of President Trump’s immigration policy. The number of parents who are currently considered “unreachable” is larger than was previously known.

Pre-bunking rises ahead of the 2020 election

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Tech platforms are no longer satisfied with debunking falsehoods — now they're starting to invest in efforts that preemptively show users accurate information to help them counter falsehoods later on.

Why it matters: Experts argue that pre-bunking can be a more effective strategy for combative misinformation than fact-checking. It's also a less polarizing way to address misinformation than trying to apply judgements to posts after they've been shared.

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