Education A National Roundup

As Schools Open, Pre-K-12 Enrollment Continues Climb

By Lesli A. Maxwell — August 29, 2006 1 min read

Nearly 49 million children are expected to enroll in the nation’s public schools in the 2006-07 academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

That figure, which includes students in prekindergarten through 12th grade, would be a slight increase over the agency’s projected enrollment for last fall. Schools in Southern states are projected to show the strongest growth, attributed in part to fast-growing immigrant communities and robust birthrates.

Nationwide, public school enrollment is projected to increase each year from 48.9 million in 2006 to an all-time high of 51.2 million in 2015, according to “The Condition of Education 2006,” compiled by the NCES.

Further information is available from The Condition of Education Web site.

Minority enrollment, fueled largely by Hispanic students, reached 42.6 percent of all public school students in 2004. Hispanic students represented 19 percent of public school enrollment in 2004, up from 6 percent in 1972.

Enrollment in private schools, which was 5.1 million students in 2003-04, is expected to remain at roughly 10 percent of all students, the NCES found. More than 75 percent of all private school students were white that school year, and 46 percent of private school students attended a Roman Catholic school.

A version of this article appeared in the August 30, 2006 edition of Education Week