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Youth Indicators, 2005: Trends in the Well-Being of American Youth

Indicator 11: Pupil/Teacher Ratios and Expenditures per Student

Figure 11. Pupil/teacher ratios and total expenditures per student in fall enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools: Various years, 1965 to 2002

Pupil/teacher ratios and total expenditures per student in fall enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools: Various years, 1965 to 2002
NOTE: Data for teachers are expressed in full-time equivalents. Elementary includes kindergarten and nursery school teachers and students. Total expenditures include current expenditures for public schools, plus capital outlay and interest on school debt. Constant dollars are based on the Consumer Price Index, prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, adjusted to a school-year basis. Beginning in 1980-81, state administration expenditures are excluded from expenditures. Beginning in 1987-88, pupil/teacher ratio data reflect reports from schools rather than statewide totals. Some data have been revised from previously published figures.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, 2004, based on the Common Core of Data (CCD) surveys.

Between 1965 and 1985, the pupil/teacher ratio at public elementary and secondary schools declined from 25 to 18. The ratio remained at a similar level through the mid-1990s, until it decreased again from the late 1990s to 16 in 2002. Over the 20 years between 1981-82 and 2001-02, per pupil total expenditures rose by 73 percent, from $5,200 to $9,000 (after adjustment for inflation).


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