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Public and private school comparison

Question:
In what ways do public and private schools differ?

Response:
To address this question, 200708 school-year data from the Schools and Staffing Survey are presented to compare public and private schools along a number of dimensions.

Selected School Characteristics

  • In the 200708 school year, there were an estimated 119,150 K12 schools in the United States: 87,190 traditional public, 3,560 public charter, 180 funded by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), and 28,220 private schools. Among these schools, 52 percent of traditional public, 55 percent of charter, 85 percent of BIE-funded, and 19 percent of private schools enrolled students receiving Title I services.
  • The racial and ethnic composition of students enrolled in public schools was 58 percent non-Hispanic White, 20 percent Hispanic (regardless of race), 16 percent non-Hispanic Black, 4 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, and 1 percent American Indian/Alaska Native. Among private schools, the racial and ethnic composition was 74 percent non-Hispanic White, 10 percent non-Hispanic Black, 9 percent Hispanic (regardless of race), 6 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, and 1 percent American Indian/Alaska Native.
  • About 63 percent of public and 37 percent of private schools employed staff with academic specialist or coaching assignments. A higher percentage of public elementary schools had staff with academic specialist or coaching assignments (73 percent) compared to private elementary (37 percent), public secondary (42 percent), and combined public schools (46 percent).

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2009). Characteristics of Public, Private, and Bureau of Indian Education Elementary and Secondary Schools in the United States: Results from the 2007-08 Schools and Staffing Survey (NCES 2009-321).

Selected Teacher Characteristics

  • As reported by teachers in 200708, among public school teachers of self-contained classes in elementary schools, the average class size was 20.3 students per class. Among private school teachers of self-contained classes in elementary schools, the average class size was 18.1 students per class.

  • In 200708, the average annual base salary of regular full-time public school teachers ($49,600) was higher than the average annual base salary of regular full-time private school teachers ($36,300).

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2009). Characteristics of Public, Private, and Bureau of Indian Education Elementary and Secondary Teachers in the United States: Results from the 2007-08 Schools and Staffing Survey (NCES 2009-324).

Related Tables and Figures:  (Listed by Release Date)

Other Resources:  (Listed by Release Date)


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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education