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Projections of Education Statistics to 2016
NCES 2008-060
December 2007

Section 5. Elementary and Secondary Teachers: Pupil/Teacher Ratios

Figure J. Actual and middle alternative projected numbers for the pupil/teacher ratio in elementary and secondary schools: Selected years, 1991–2016

Figure J. Actual and middle alternative projected numbers for the pupil/teacher ratio in elementary and secondary schools: Selected years, 1991–2016

SOURCE: U.S. Dept. of Education, NCES, Common Core of Data surveys, various years; Private School Universe Survey, various years; and Elementary and Secondary Teacher Model. (See reference table 33.)

Total elementary and secondary teachers

The pupil/teacher ratio in elementary and secondary schools (figure J; table 33)

  • decreased from 17.1 to 15.5 between 1991 and 2004; and
  • is projected to decrease further to 14.5 in 2016 in the middle alternative projections.


About pupil/teacher ratios

The overall elementary and secondary pupil/teacher ratio and pupil/teacher ratios for public and private schools were computed based on elementary and secondary enrollment and the number of classroom teachers by control of school.
Figure K. Actual and middle alternative projected numbers for the pupil/teacher ratio in elementary and secondary schools, by control of school: Selected years, 1991–2016

Figure K. Actual and middle alternative projected numbers for the pupil/teacher ratio in elementary and secondary schools, by control of school: Selected years, 1991–2016

SOURCE: U.S. Dept. of Education, NCES, Common Core of Data surveys, various years; Private School Universe Survey, various years; and Elementary and Secondary Teacher Model. (See reference table 33.)

Public school teachers

The pupil/teacher ratio in public elementary and secondary schools (figure K; reference figure 30 and table 33)

  • decreased from 17.3 to 15.8 between 1991 and 2004; and
  • is projected to decrease further to 14.6 in 2016 in the middle alternative projections.

Private school teachers

The pupil/teacher ratio in private elementary and secondary schools (figure K; reference figure 30 and table 33)

  • decreased from 15.6 to 13.7 between 1991 and 2004; and
  • is projected to decrease further to 12.0 in 2016 in the middle alternative projections.

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