The percentage of public school students in the United States who were English language learners (ELLs) was higher in 2009–10 at 10 percent (or an estimated 4.7 million students) than in 2000–01 at 8 percent (or an estimated 3.7 million students.)
The percentage of public school students in the United States who were English language learners (ELLs) was higher in 2009–10 (10 percent, or an estimated 4.7 million students) than in 2000–01 (8 percent, or an estimated 3.7 million students). The total number of public school students in the United States was 46.6 million in 2000–01 and 48.0 million students in 2009–10 (see table A-8-1).
In 2009–10, the percentage of ELL students in public schools was less than 4 percent in 15 states; this percentage was between 4 and 7 percent in 18 states. Twelve states and the District of Columbia had percentages of ELL public school enrollment between 7 and 14 percent. In addition to the District of Columbia, these states were Virginia, North Carolina, New York, Kansas, Arizona, Utah, Illinois, Florida, Hawaii, Oregon, Alaska, and Colorado. In four states, 14 percent or more of the public school students were English language learners—Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, and California— with ELL students constituting 29 percent of public school enrollment in California.
The percentage of ELL students in public schools was higher in 2009–10 than in 2000–01 in all but 13 states, with the largest positive percentage-point changes occurring in Nevada (9 percentage points), Delaware, and Kansas (5 percentage points each). The percentage of ELL students in public schools was higher in 2009–10 than in 2008–09 in just over half of the states (28 states), with the largest positive change in percentage points occurring in California (5 percentage points).
In cities in 2009–10, ELL students made up an average of 14 percent of total public school enrollment, ranging from 11 percent in small cities to 18 percent in large cities (see table A-8-2). In suburban areas, ELL students constituted an average of 8 percent of public student enrollment, ranging from 7 percent in midsize suburban areas to 10 percent in large suburban areas. In towns, ELL students made up an average of 7 percent of public student enrollment, ranging from 6 percent in both distant and remote areas to 9 percent in fringe areas. Towns and rural areas are subdivided into fringe, distant, and remote according to their proximity to urban centers, with fringe being the closest to an urban center and remote being the farthest from one. In rural areas, ELL students made up an average of 4 percent of public student enrollment, ranging from 2 percent in distant areas to 4 percent each in fringe and remote areas.
"English language learner" (ELL) was formerly known as "limited English proficient" (LEP) and refers to students being served in appropriate programs of language assistance (e.g., English as a Second Language, High Intensity Language Training, bilingual education). Total ELL enrollment data for 2000–01 are based on imputations (or estimations) for states that did not report ELL data; 6.6 percent of the ELL enrollment data were imputed in this year. For more information on locale, see Appendix C – Commonly Used Measures. For more information on the Common Core of Data, see Appendix B – Guide to Sources.
Click figure to enlarge