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Closed schools

Question:
How many public schools in the United States have closed?

Response:
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 201011, there were 1,929 school closures. The schools that closed had enrolled about 321,000 students in the prior school year (200910). 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 201011 was higher than the number in 200001 (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, 199596 through 201011
School level and type 199596 19992000 200001 200102 200203 200304 200405 200506 200607 200708 200809 200910 201011
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 type
Regular 686 970 908 1,018 985 1,248 1,190 1,171 1,348 1,450 1,059 1,321 1,486
Special education 110 86 84 118 91 114 271 88 160 195 99 235 72
Vocational 17 18 17 90 27 33 18 28 14 30 15 11 7
Alternative1 141 106 184 186 265 773 434 266 355 445 342 255 364
School level and type
Elementary2 497 559 601 697 721 947 901 770 846 844 769 936 1,073
Regular 449 529 563 648 660 870 847 725 771 804 713 893 1,010
Special education 28 16 20 21 26 23 25 13 53 20 22 13 18
Vocational 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0
Alternative1 20 14 16 28 35 54 29 31 21 20 33 30 45
Secondary3 199 300 302 313 245 347 302 342 308 394 368 346 436
Regular 114 235 173 141 127 144 177 192 171 233 186 212 237
Special education 12 8 19 12 9 10 4 11 24 19 21 12 15
Vocational 17 18 14 89 27 33 18 27 13 29 13 11 7
Alternative1 56 39 96 71 82 160 103 112 100 113 148 111 177
Combined elementary/secondary4 42 143 146 168 124 158 321 184 193 172 164 91 157
Regular 10 96 83 76 57 54 68 82 65 65 50 42 74
Special education 13 17 22 29 22 30 28 38 45 48 34 16 24
Vocational 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0
Alternative1 19 30 40 62 45 74 225 64 83 58 79 33 59
Other (not classified by grade span) 216 178 144 234 278 716 389 257 530 710 214 449 263
Regular 113 110 89 153 141 180 98 172 341 348 110 174 165
Special education 57 45 23 56 34 51 214 26 38 108 22 194 15
Vocational 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Alternative1 46 23 32 25 103 485 77 59 151 254 82 81 83
All charter schools5 24 72 111 85 74 171 206 267 133 161 189 216
Prior year enrollment of schools that have closed
Total, enrollment 173,766 187,493 209,228 171,669 195,033 262,183 297,487 229,259 242,388 268,212 243,166 306,806 321,246

Not available.

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