Section 1. Elementary and Secondary Enrollment: Introduction
Total public and private elementary and secondary school enrollment reached a record 55 million in fall 2002, representing a 19 percent increase since fall 1989. Between 2002 and 2014, a further increase of 4 percent is expected, with increases projected in both public and private schools. In the regions, increases are expected in the West and South, and decreases are expected in the Northeast and Midwest.
Factors affecting the projections
The projected changes in enrollment reflect factors such as internal migration, legal and illegal immigration, the relatively high level of births in the 1990s, and resultant changes in the population (reference
figure 1), rather than changes in attendance rates.
Factors that were not considered
The projections do not assume changes in policies or attitudes that may affect
enrollment levels. For example, they do not account for changing state and
local policies on prekindergarten and kindergarten programs. Expansion of these
programs could lead to higher enrollments at the elementary school level. Projections
also exclude the number of students who are homeschooled because national data
are available for only a limited time period.
The grade progression rate method
The method used to project school enrollments assumes that future trends in factors affecting enrollments will be consistent with past patterns. It implicitly includes the net effect of factors such as dropouts, deaths, nonpromotion, and transfers to and from public schools. See appendix A
for more details.