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

Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
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
Families & the Community Webinar
How Whole-Child Student Data Can Strengthen Family Connections
Learn how district leaders can use these actionable strategies to increase family engagement in their student’s education and boost their academic achievement.
Content provided by Panorama Education
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
College & Workforce Readiness Webinar
The School to Workforce Gap: How Are Schools Setting Students Up For Life & Lifestyle Success?
Hear from education and business leaders on how schools are preparing students for their leap into the workforce.
Content provided by Find Your Grind

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 After a Rash of Student Suicides, This School District Stepped Up
Hopeless at first over a student mental health crisis, Colorado's Cherry Creek school leaders decided to build a day-treatment program.
13 min read
Image of a bridge made of puzzle pieces with the middle piece moving to connect the two sides.
Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty
School & District Management What Superintendents Say They Need More of to Help Them Manage Districts
98% of those surveyed said better data would make them more comfortable making decisions.
2 min read
Image of a data dashboard.
Suppachok Nuthep/iStock/Getty
School & District Management Principals Give Thanks—and Shoutouts—to School Support Staff
Custodians, lunchroom aides, secretaries, and bus drivers are “too often forgotten and underappreciated.”
7 min read
Image of a framed smiley face.
zakokor/iStock/Getty
School & District Management How to Recruit and Retain School Board Members of Color
Pay, staffing, and support are key ingredients to persuade people of color to run for their local school board, experts say.
5 min read
Illustration showing diversity with multi-colored human figures.
ajijchan/iStock/Getty