Posted by Cory List on 1st Sep 2015

​A Quick View of US Education and Predictions for 2015

The United States Department of Education (ED or DoED) is a cabinet-level department of the US Government. Under the United States ED is the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) which is the main entity for the collection and analysis of data related to US education.

Total of Schools, Students, and Teachers

The NCES is the agency responsible for the statistics concerning the total number of educational institutions in the United States. In the period 2011 to 2012, there were 98,328 public schools which consisted of 66,689 elementary schools, 24,357 high schools, 6,311 schools offering both, and 971 other institutions. There were 30,861 private schools and 7,234 postsecondary title IV institutions. There were 4,706 degree-granting schools, of which 1,738 colleges offered 2-year courses and 2,968 colleges offered 4-year courses.

For the number of students in the United States, there were 35,062,000 public elementary school pupils (pre-K to grade 8) in the year 2014. In 2014 also, it was recorded that the US had 14,689,000 public secondary school pupils (grades 9 to 12). In 2011, there were 3,976,960 private elementary school pupils (K to grade 8) and 1,291,130 private secondary school pupils (grades 9 to 12). In 2012, there was a total of 20,642,819 higher education enrollment reported.

The latest statistics regarding educational institutions from NCES are from the school year 2012-2013. It was reported that the number of operating public elementary and secondary schools and agencies had a total of 98,454 while the non-operating schools and agencies had a total of 2,391. The operating schools and agencies consisted of 89,031 regular schools, 2,034 special education schools, 1,403 vocational education schools, and 5,986 alternative education schools. In terms of enrollment and employment, there were 49,771,118 students and 3,109,101 teachers, resulting in pupil-teacher ratio was 16:1.

Funds and Expenditures

In 2011, total public school expenditures were at $607.2 billion. The expenditures were divided into current expenditures ($525.5 billion), instruction ($321.9 billion), support services ($182.3 billion), food services ($19.9 billion), enterprise operations ($1.2 billion), capital outlay ($55.6 billion), and interest on school debt ($17.8 billion).

The total funding for public education was $597,485,869,000. It consisted of federal funding which was $75.99 billion (12.7% of total), state funding which was $259.8 billion (43.5% of total), and local funding which was $261.7 billion ($43.8% of total).

In 2011, the average district school per pupil expenditure was $13,041, the average online school per pupil expenditure was $6,400, and the average blended online and on-site school expenditure was $8,900. In 2010, the average private school tuition was $8,549 (elementary $6,733, secondary $10,549, and combined $10,045), and the average Catholic school tuition was $6,108 (elementary at $4,944, secondary at $7,826, and combined at $9,066).

Salaries and Wages of School Employees

The data for salaries and wages of school employees were also collected. The public school administrators or the superintendents were paid $161,992. The public school principals were paid $102,191 in high school, $95,426 in middle school or junior, and $89,951 in elementary school. The public school assistant principals were paid $79,391 for high school, $76,503 for middle school or junior, and $71,192 for elementary school. For the public school professional personnel: the counselors were paid $53,610, the librarians were paid $55,370, and the school nurses were paid $65,470 on the average. The average teacher base salary was $49,630 for public schools and $36,250 for private schools. For the public school support staff: the secretaries were paid $35,330, the accountants were paid $35,170, and the teacher aides were paid $23,640. The hourly wage rates of the other employees include: $10.73 for custodians, $8.84 for cafeteria workers, $14.21 for school bus drivers, and $12.89 for library clerks.

Back to School Predictions for 2015

The NCES predicted the back to school statistics for 2015. They said that around 50.1 million students will attend public elementary and secondary schools. Of this number, 35.2 million students will be in prekindergarten up to grade 8 and the remaining 14.9 million students will be in grades 9 to 12. Another 4.9 million students will be attending private schools. The 2015 enrollment is expected to be higher compared to the 2014 enrollment which had 50 million students.

Of the 50.1 million public school students, white students will account for 24.7 million. The remaining 25.4 million students will be composed of 13.1 million Hispanic students, 7.7 million African-American students, 2.6 million Asian or Pacific Islander students, 0.5 million Native American or Alaska Native students, and 1.5 million students from other races. The percentage of white students will decline during the 2015 enrollment compared to the 2014 enrollment since the other races will be continuously migrating to the United States. This is expected to happen at least until 2024.

Public school systems will hire around 3.1 million full-time-equivalent (FTE) teachers so that the pupil-teacher ratio will remain at 16:1—the same ratio that has been in place since 2000. Around 0.4 million teachers will work in private schools resulting in a pupil-teacher ratio of 12.5:1, which is lower than the year 2000 ratio of 14.5:1.

For the school year 2015 to 2016, the government will spend $634 billion. This will cover the salaries of school employees, benefits, student transportation, books, materials, and energy costs. The projected expenditure per student is $12,605.

Around 3.3 million students are expected to graduate for the school year 2015 to 2016. Around 3.0 million students will be coming from public schools while the remainder will be coming from private schools.

In college and university education, about 20.2 million students will attend for the school year 2015 to 2016. It will constitute an increase of 4.9 million students from the year 2000. There will be a larger percentage of female students (11.5 million) compared to male students (8.7 million). An estimate of 7 million students will attend 2-year institutions and an estimate of 13.2 million students will attend 4-year institutions. There will also be an increase in the number of African-American and Hispanic students attending college.

About 1.8 million bachelor’s degrees, 952,000 associate’s degrees, 802,000 master’s degrees, and 179,000 doctor’s degrees are expected to be awarded at the end of the school year.

Comparison of Earnings

In the year 2013, the median of the earnings of full-time working young adults with bachelor’s degrees was $48,500. The median of young adults without high school diplomas was $23,900 whereas the median of young adults with high school diplomas was $30,000. The median of young adults with associate’s degrees was $37,500. These reflect that young adults with bachelor’s degrees earn twice as much as those who do not have high school diplomas or equivalent certifications.