The National Center for Education Statistics has released the preliminary public school enrollment data for the 2010-2011 school year. The report presents the data collected by the State Nonfiscal Survey of Public Elementary/Secondary Education which is part of the Common Core of Data survey system. The survey combines information submitted by the state education agencies to the U.S. Department of Education EdFacts system.
Fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Bureau of Indian Education reported the 2010–11 CCD data through the EDFacts collection system; the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam reported directly to the CCD. The Department of Defense schools (also known as the Department of Defense Education Activity, or DoDEA) and American Samoa did not report data for the 2010–11 school year.
The report finds that the enrollment in public schools had gone up 0.2% last year with over 49.5 million students enrolled in the elementary and secondary schools across the nation. White students made up slightly over 52% of the student body, with 23% self-identified as Hispanic, 16% as Black and 5% as Asian. Native Americans/Alaska Natives made up less than 1% of all students.
Summing across grades, there were 34.6 million students enrolled in prekindergarten through grade 8 and ungraded classes; there were 14.8 million students enrolled in grades 9–12 in the 2010–11 school year.
The widespread budget woes experienced by school districts all over the country were reflected in the increasing student/teacher ratio which went up from 15.4:1 in 2009-2010 school year, to 16:1. California had the highest number of students per teacher in the country with 24.1, and North Dakota was the lowest with 11.4.
The elementary student/teacher ratio was 20.0, while the secondary student/teacher ratio was 12.4.
The fiscal worries also had an impact on staffing levels, as the number of full-time staff employed in the school system declined by 2.5% since 2009-2010. In all, 6.2 million people were employed by various schools or education agencies last year. Of those, half were teachers, a quarter were support staff such as guidance or career counselors, and 15% were teachers’ aides, supervisors, curriculum coordinators, administrators or librarians.
The category of other instructional and student support includes instructional aides, instructional coordinators and supervisors, librarians, library support, and student support services staff. In the 2010–11 school year, there were about 42.9 students for every instructional and student support staff member.