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Figuring the Future

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The enrollment record expected to be set in the nation's classrooms this fall will continue to be broken each year until 2006, according to projections from the U.S. Department of Education. That means the school population of 51.7 million this fall will have reached 54.6 million by the fall of 2006. The following figures that will affect the nation's school system are based on the 1990 census and include revised population projections made by the U.S. Bureau of the Census to reflect 1994 population estimates and updated estimates of the fertility rate, net immigration, and the mortality rate.

1994 2006
K-8 enrollment 36.2 million 38.1 million*
9-12 enrollment 13.6 million 16.5 million
High school graduates 2.5 million 3.0 million
Classroom teachers, overall 2.9 million 3.4 million
    elementary 1.8 million 2.0 million
    secondary 1.2 million 1.4 million
Pupils per teacher
    elementary 18.4 17.2
    secondary 14.3 14.0
Average public school
per-pupil spending
(adjusted for inflation)
$5,404 $6,622
Average public school
teacher salaries
(adjusted for inflation)
$35,819 $38,182
Growth is expected to vary by region:
West: 21 percent Northeast: 4 percent
South: 10 percent Midwest: 3 percent

* K-8 enrollment is expected to peak at 38.8 million in 2002, then drop off.

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