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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Digest of Education Statistics

The Education Department today released its latest Digest of Education Statistics, packed with data on students, teachers and educational institutions across the U.S., from early childhood centers to universities.

  • Spending by elementary and secondary schools hit $700 billion. Schools hired more educators in 2012, which resulted in a ratio of 15.2 students per teacher, down from 15.9 students per teacher a decade earlier. Teacher salaries, however, have not risen much; their average salary of $56,643 for the 2011-12 school year is up just 1 percent — after adjusting for inflation — from the 1990-91 school year.
  • The percentage of students eligible for subsidized lunches has soared from 38.3 percent in 2001 to 48.1 percent in 2011-12. The share of students in English-language learner programs has also edged up, from 8.7 percent a decade ago to 9.8 percent in 2011-12.
  • Despite the challenges facing schools, the report finds significant improvements in the high school graduation rate. From 1990-2011, the status dropout rate — which includes anyone age 16-24 who is not enrolled in school and has not received a diploma — declined from 12.1 percent to 7.1 percent. (This measure excludes imprisoned convicts.) 
  • In 2012, about 88 percent of the adult population had a high school diploma or equivalency degree, and 31 percent had at least a bachelor’s degree. Those numbers are both up four percentage points from a decade earlier.
  • The youngest U.S. residents are also spending more time in class. About 59 percent of children age 3-5 attended full-day pre-kindergarten in 2011, up from 53 percent in 2000. Overall, about 64 percent of kids in that age group are enrolled in pre-K.

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