How many public schools in the United States have closed?
While the total number of public schools in the country has remained around 99,000 in recent years, new schools have opened and some schools have closed. In 2010–11, there were 1,929 school closures. The schools that closed had enrolled about 321,000 students in the prior school year (2009–10). Of the schools that closed, 1,486 were regular schools, 72 were special education schools, 7 were vocational schools, and 364 were alternative schools. The number of schools that closed in 2010–11 was higher than the number in 2000–01 (1,193); however, the number of annual school closures has fluctuated during this period, ranging from around 1,200 to 2,200. School closures do not necessarily reflect the number of school buildings that have been closed, since a single school may share a building with another school, or one school may have multiple buildings.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2013). Digest of Education Statistics, 2012 (NCES 2014-015), Chapter 2.
|Number and enrollment of public elementary and secondary schools that have closed, by school level and type: Selected years, 1995–96 through 2010–11|
|School level and type||1995–96||1999–2000||2000–01||2001–02||2002–03||2003–04||2004–05||2005–06||2006–07||2007–08||2008–09||2009–10||2010–11|
|Total, all schools||954||1,180||1,193||1,412||1,368||2,168||1,913||1,553||1,877||2,120||1,515||1,822||1,929|
|School level and type|
|Other (not classified by grade span)||216||178||144||234||278||716||389||257||530||710||214||449||263|
|All charter schools5||—||24||72||111||85||74||171||206||267||133||161||189||216|
|Prior year enrollment of schools that have closed|
1Includes schools that provide nontraditional education, address needs of students that typically cannot be met in regular schools, serve as adjuncts to regular schools, or fall outside the categories of regular, special education, or vocational education.
2Includes schools beginning with grade 6 or below and with no grade higher than 8.
3Includes schools with no grade lower than 7.
4Includes schools beginning with grade 6 or below and ending with grade 9 or above.
5Charter schools are also included under the school level and type categories, as appropriate.
NOTE: The closure of a school does not necessarily mean that a building is no longer used for educational purposes. A single school may share a building with another school, or one school may be housed in several buildings.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2013). Digest of Education Statistics, 2012 (NCES 2014-015), Table 109.
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