School & District Management

K-12 Enrollment Sets Another Record, But Dip by 2011 Forecast

By Joetta L. Sack — September 05, 2001 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

School enrollment will again reach a record high, as 53.1 million students take their seats in American classrooms this fall.

Read the “Projections of Education Statistics to 2011,” from the National Center for Education Statistics.

It’s the sixth consecutive record-breaking year, according to the U.S. Department of Education, which released its annual report, “Projections of Education Statistics,” last month. The report also says that college enrollment reached a new height for the fourth year in a row.

The report tracks both public and private schools and gives educators and policymakers an idea of what to expect for the next 10 years. The latest edition projects that K-12 enrollments will rise to about 53.4 million in 2005, then dip slightly to about 53 million in 2011, for an overall increase of less than 1 percent from the 52.9 million level in 1999.

But enrollment trends will not be consistent across the country, the report shows. Most Western states will continue to see fast-growing enrollments, with an increase of 5 percent or more from 1999 to 2011. Meanwhile, many Northeastern and Midwestern states will see their enrollments plateau or decline slightly.

While all grade levels have seen slight increases in enrollment over the past decade, high school enrollments showed the largest increases, climbing from 12.5 million in 1990 to 14.8 million in 2000. They are expected to rise to a record 15.9 million in 2006, then decrease slightly. Those numbers spotlight an unusually large generation—the children of baby boomers—as they make their way through school.

The department anticipates that this school year, 2.8 million students will graduate from public and private high schools, a number that will swell to about 3.1 million by 2010. That growth will in turn lead to a steady enrollment rise at colleges and universities over the next decade.

A record 15.3 million students will enter higher-education institutions this fall. Within 10 years, college growth is expected to rise about 16 percent to 17.7 million students.

‘Plateaus’ Welcomed

More teachers will be needed to serve higher enrollments. Currently, 3.3 million teachers are employed by U.S. schools; that number is expected to increase by about 10 percent, to 3.65 million, in 10 years.

Public school expenditures for this school year are expected to total about $354 billion, at an average of $7,487 for each student.

The report projects an increase in inflation-adjusted spending from the 1998-99 school year to the 2010-11 school year. It estimates that expenditures, in constant dollars, will rise by between 29 percent and 40 percent in that time.

Reggie Felton, the director of federal relations for the National School Boards Association, said the predictions were good news.

“Schools haven’t been able to keep up with the growth, so the schools seeing plateaus will welcome that,” he said. “For those that continue to see increases, it will be difficult.”

Related Tags:

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management This State Created a Retention System for Principals. Here’s Why It Worked
Missouri has deepened the support it offers to new principals through a partly federally funded, two-year mentoring program.
6 min read
Photos of principals walking in school hallway.
E+ / Getty
School & District Management Opinion 5 Reasons Why Education Leaders Avoid Controversial Topics
Understanding why we shy away from challenging conversations can be a path toward empathy and an opportunity for learning.
4 min read
Let's brainstorm!
Created on Canva
School & District Management Most Superintendents Try to Avoid Politics. This Group Encourages Them to Lean In
Superintendents increasingly face politically tricky situations. A new collaborative hopes to support them.
3 min read
Illustration of person riding a unicycle on a tightrope over shark infested waters.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images
School & District Management Superintendent of the Year Focuses on How to ‘Do More’ in Minnesota
The 2024 winner of the national honor didn't want to spend pandemic relief funds "in the way that we’ve always spent our money."
2 min read
Joe Gothard, superintendent of St. Paul Public Schools stands for a portrait at Como Park High School in St. Paul, Minn., on Aug. 21, 2021, where new federal school funding will help to hire staff, buy books and be used for building renovations.
Joe Gothard, superintendent of St. Paul Public Schools stands for a portrait at Como Park High School in St. Paul, Minn., on Aug. 21, 2021. Gothard was named the 2024 National Superintendent of the Year on Thursday by AASA, The School Superintendents' Association.
Andy Clayton-King/AP