School & District Management

Record Numbers of Students Enrolled in the Public Schools

By Debra Viadero — June 07, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Enrollment in public schools hit an all-time high in 2003, surpassing the record set in 1970, the federal government reported last week, while the West has become the first region where students from minority groups outnumber white students in public schools.

Nationwide, according to the federal government’s latest annual compilation of education statistics, overall enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools surged to 49.5 million in 2003, surpassing a record of 48.7 million schoolchildren set in 1970.

“The Condition of Education 2005" is available from the The National Center For Education Statistics.

“The Condition of Education 2005,” released last week, notes that as of 2003, minority students represented 54 percent of public school students in the 13 Western states. Non-Hispanic white students, in comparison, made up 46 percent of the public school enrollment in that part of the country.

Driven primarily by a growing population of Latino students, the West’s shifting demographics come as minority enrollments are increasing across the nation. The proportion of minority students in U.S. schools grew from 22 percent in 1972 to 42 percent in 2003, the latest year the study tracks.

“This illustrates why we’re focusing so much time and energy on closing the achievement gap among students,” U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said last week in a press release.

Nationwide, Hispanic students, who may be of any race, made up 19 percent of public school enrollment in 2003. African-American students were 16 percent of the public school population.

Those figures were among 40 indicators contained in the report. The study also notes that the percentage of school-age children who speak a language other than English at home rose from 9 percent in 1979 to 19 percent in 2003, and that Spanish was the language most commonly spoken in those households.

On private school enrollment, the report also shows that while Roman Catholic school enrollments shrank from 1989-90 to 2001-02, the proportion of private school students attending other religious schools, such as conservative Christian schools, grew from 32 percent to 36 percent.

Related Tags:

Events

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
Assessment Webinar
The State of Assessment in K-12 Education
What is the impact of assessment on K-12 education? What does that mean for administrators, teachers and most importantly—students?
Content provided by Instructure
Jobs January 2022 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
Proven Strategies to Improve Reading Scores
In this webinar, education and reading expert Stacy Hurst will provide a look at some of the biggest issues facing curriculum coordinators, administrators, and teachers working in reading education today. You will: Learn how schools
Content provided by Reading Horizons

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 Opinion If You Can’t Maintain an Initiative, Maybe You Shouldn’t Do It
Schools are often really good at finding new initiatives to implement but aren't always good at maintaining. Here's a model to consider.
5 min read
Screen Shot 2022 01 21 at 7.57.56 AM
Shutterstock
School & District Management Schools Are Desperate for Substitutes and Getting Creative
Now in the substitute-teacher pool: parents, college students, and the National Guard.
10 min read
Zackery Kimball, a substitute teacher at Bailey Middle School, works with two classes of students at the school's theater hall on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, in Las Vegas. Many schools have vacant teaching and/or support staff jobs and no available substitutes to cover day-to-day absences.
Zackery Kimball, a substitute teacher at Bailey Middle School in Las Vegas, works with two classes of students at the school's theater hall on a Friday in December 2021.
Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP
School & District Management 3 Ways School Districts Can Ease the Pain of Supply Chain Chaos
Have a risk management plan, pay attention to what's happening up the supply chain, and be adaptable when necessary.
3 min read
Cargo Ship - Supply Chain with products such as classroom chairs, milk, paper products, and electronics
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management Vulnerable Students, Districts at Greater Risk as Natural Disasters Grow More Frequent
New federal research indicates the harm from fires and storms to school facilities, learning, and mental health is disproportionate.
4 min read
Helina Thorp, right, 14, expresses frustration while unsuccessfully trying to log in to her school distance-learning classes in Placerville, Calif., after Pacific Gas & Electric intentionally shut off power to prevent wildfires amid high winds in September 2020.
Helina Thorp, right, 14, expresses frustration while unsuccessfully trying to log in to her school distance-learning classes in Placerville, Calif., after Pacific Gas & Electric shut off power to prevent wildfires amid high winds in September 2020.
Daniel Kim/The Sacramento Bee via AP