Several of the items presented in this report have specialized definitions that may differ from common
usage. The definitions are those used in the source documents from which the data were drawn. Some of these definitions are listed below in the order in which they appear in this report.
- United States refers to data representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
- Outlying Areas are additional areas from which elementary and secondary education data are
collected: Department of Defense Dependents Overseas Schools, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
- National Cooperative Education Statistics System Liaison is the individual appointed
by each chief state school officer to be the official representative of that state education agency to the National Cooperative Education Statistics System, which analyzes issues and discusses alternatives
for solving issues in and recommending policies for elementary and secondary education statistics. A current list of liaisons is available at http://nces.ed.gov/forum.
- Common Core of Data Survey Coordinator is the individual appointed by each chief state
school officer to be the official representative of that state education agency to NCES concerning
the Common Core of Data system. The coordinator is responsible for sending NCES the state's
annual CDD data. A current list of CCD coordinators is available http://nces.ed.gov/ccd.
- Public school membership: The unduplicated count of students on the roll of the school or district (excluding any formally enrolled students who withdrew from school) taken on the school day closest to October 1.
- Public school: An institution that provides elementary/secondary educational services; has one
or more grade groupings (prekindergarten through 12) or is ungraded; has one or more teachers to give instruction; is located in one or more buildings; has an assigned administrator; receives public
funds as its primary support; and is operated by an education agency.
- Teachers: Professional school staff members who instruct students and maintain daily student attendance records for prekindergarten, kindergarten, grades 1 through 12, and ungraded classes.
Those who teach in an environment other than a classroom setting are also included.
- Land area: The total land area within the geographic boundaries of the state or other area,
expressed in square miles.
- Total population: Estimate of the resident population of the state (including Armed Forces
residing in the state) as of July 1 preceding the beginning of the school year. These estimates are used to compute per capita statistics.
- School-age population: The resident population of the state ages 5 to 17 as of July 1 preceding
the beginning of the school year.
- State revenue: Includes all amounts of money received by state government from external
sources (net of refunds and correcting transactions) other than from issue of debt, liquidation of investments, and agency and private trust transactions.
- State expenditure: Include all amounts of money paid out by state government.
- State expenditure for elementary/secondary education: Includes all amounts of money for elementary and secondary education paid out by state government, excluding Federal funds and amounts of money paid out by local jurisdictions.
- Gross State Product per school-age child: The total market value of goods and services
produced by the labor and property located in a state in 1988 and 1996 divided by the 1988 and 1996 Census Data for resident persons ages 5 to 17 years, respectively.
- Education agency: Governmental agency administratively responsible for providing public elementary and secondary instruction or educational support services.
- regular school district:An education agency responsible for providing free public elementary and secondary education for school-age children residing within its jurisdiction. The agency sometimes includes special and vocational education in a comprehensive educational setting.
- regional service agency: An education agency that provides administrative services or special services to other public elementary and secondary school districts or other agencies.
- state-operated agency: Any state agency that operates elementary, secondary, or combined education programs (such as state schools for the blind or deaf).
- federally operated and other types: Any federal agency that operates elementary, secondary, or combined education programs (such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs), or an education agency that cannot be appropriately classified using any of the agency types.
- Number of schools per education agency: Each education agency, of whatever type, was assigned to one of six categories, based on the number of schools associated with the agency. The number of agencies in each category was then computed.
- Regular school districts by student membership size: Each regular school district was
assigned to one of six categories, based on the total membership reported for the district record, and the number of districts in each category computed. These categories (excluding Size not
reported) were defined in such a way that the national totals in each class are approximately the same. The category Size not reported includes districts that contract with other agencies to provide
services for some students rather than operate schools directly. In these cases, student membership is not reported for the receiving district in order to avoid duplication of membership counts. Conversely, in cases where all services are provided by a contracting district, no membership is reported for the sending district.
- Type of school: Category assigned to public schools based on focus of the educational services
- regular school: A public school that does not focus primarily on vocational, special education, or alternative education.
- special education school: A public school that focuses primarily on special education, including instruction for any of the following: hard of hearing, deaf, speech impaired, health impaired, orthopedically impaired, mentally retarded, emotionally disturbed, multihandicapped, visually handicapped, deaf and blind. The school also has adapted curriculum, materials, or instruction for students served.
- vocational school: A public school that focuses primarily on vocational education and provides education in one or more semiskilled or technical occupations.
- other and alternative school: A public school that addresses needs of students that typically cannot be met in a regular school, provides nontraditional education or does not specifically fall into the categories of regular, special education, or vocational school (but may be an adjunct to a regular school).
- Locale of school: Category assigned to public schools based on the population characteristics of
the geographic area in which the school is located. These data are not available for the 1987-88 school year.
- city: A city with a population of 50,000 or more that is a central city of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).
- urban fringe: An area within an MSA of a central city and defined as urban by the Bureau of
the Census but which does not qualify as a city.
- large town: A town not within an MSA, having a population of 25,000 or more.
- small town: A town not within an MSA, having a population between 2,500 and 24,999.
- rural: Not in any of the above categories.
- Public schools by size of student membership: Each school for which membership was
reported was assigned to one of five categories, based on the total membership reported for the school. The number of schools in each category was then computed. These categories were defined
in such a way that the national totals in each class are approximately the same.
- Grade span category: Based on the lowest and highest grade for which membership was
reported in each school, the school's grade span was determined. Schools whose low and high grade were within one of the six designated ranges were assigned to the appropriate category; if a
school had some other combination of low and high grade, it was assigned to Other grades. Schools that only reported membership in Ungraded were assigned to that category, and schools with no membership reported were assigned to Not reported. The total number of schools within each category was then computed.
- Prekindergarten membership: Students who are enrolled in a group or class that is part of a public school program taught during the year or years preceding kindergarten.
- Ungraded membership: Students who are assigned to classes or programs that do not have standard grade designations.
- Racial/ethnic category: Used to describe groups to which individuals belong in the eyes of the
community. Categories do not denote scientific definitions of anthropological origin. A person may be counted in only one group.
- Students in special education with IEPs: Number of students having a written Individualized
Educational Program (IEP) for students with disabilities designated as special education students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) - Part B. It is shown in this report as the percentage of the state's total membership, if reported by 70 percent or more schools or agencies.2
- Free-lunch eligibility: The number of students in a school who apply for and are eligible to receive free lunch under the National School Lunch Act. It is shown in this report as the percentage of the state's total membership, if reported by 70 percent or more schools or agencies. To avoid
identifying any particular student as eligible for free lunch, the CCD adjusted the maximum number reported to be no more than 95 percent of a school's total membership.3
- School-age population below poverty level: Estimates of the resident population of the state ages 5 to 17 below poverty level, compiled from information collected in the March 1997 Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted by the Census Bureau.
- High school completers: These counts include all individuals who received diplomas or other formal indications of completion of high school during the immediately preceding school year and subsequent summer.
- regular diploma: Total count of graduates who received a high school diploma in the regular
day or summer school.
- other diploma: Total count of graduates who received a high school diploma in programs
other than the regular day or summer school (e.g., adult evening programs).
- high school equivalency: Total count of individuals 19 years or younger who received a general
educational development (GED) or high school equivalency certificate.
- other completers: Total count of students who received certificates or other designations of
high school completion, attendance, or training. Includes special education with individualized education program completers; excludes regular diploma or GED recipients.
- High school dropouts: These counts include all 9th through 12th grade students enrolled at
any time during the previous year who are not enrolled at the beginning of the current year, and have not graduated or transferred to another school. In this report, it is shown as the percentage of
the state's 9-12th grade membership, with ungraded students prorated in, if reported by 70 percent or more schools or agencies.4
- Assessment scores: Results from the NAEP 1996 mathematics and science assessment.
- Achievement levels: The cutpoints on the NAEP scale represent what students know and can do at one level that differentiates them from students performing at lower levels:
- basic level denotes partial mastery of the knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at a given grade.
- proficient level represents solid academic performance.
- advanced level represents superior performance.
For the mathematics 500-point NAEP scale, the grade 4 cutpoints were 214, 249, and 282 for basic, proficient, and advanced levels, respectively. For grade 8 the three levels were defined by 262, 299, and 333. For the science assessment of 8th grade students (0-300 scale), the basic, proficient,
and advanced achievement levels are defined by the scores 143, 170, and 207, respectively.
- Education staff: Staff reported by the state as participating in providing free public education to
students in elementary and secondary education. Information is reported in full-time equivalency. Vacant positions are not reported.
- total education staff: Total counts of instructional and support services staff, and administrators.
- teachers: Professional school staff members who instruct students and maintain daily student attendance records for prekindergarten, kindergarten, grades 1 through 12, and ungraded classes.
Those who teach in an environment other than a classroom setting are also included.
- instructional aides: Staff members who receive a salary to assist a teacher with routine activities
associated with instruction. Such activities may include monitoring, conducting rote exercises, operating equipment, and clerking.
- guidance counselors/directors: Professional staff members assigned specific duties and
school time to activities involving counseling with students and parents; assisting students in making educational and career choices; assisting students in personal social development; providing
referral assistance; and working with other staff members in planning and conducting guidance programs for students.
- librarians/library support: Professional and other staff members (including library aides and
those involved in library/media support) and supervisors who are assigned specific duties and school time to professional library service activities. These activities include selecting, acquiring,
preparing, cataloging, and circulating books and other printed materials; planning the use of the library by students and other staff; guiding individuals in their use of the library materials;
selecting, preparing, caring for, and making available to members of the instructional staff the equipment, films, filmstrips, transparencies, tapes, TV programs, and similar materials; organizing
activities in the audiovisual center, TV studio, and related work-study areas and other services provided by audiovisual personnel.
- administrative support: Staff members who provide support to officials and administrators of
education agencies or principals and department chairpersons of schools. Includes clerical staff
- other support services: All support staff not included in administrative support, including
social workers, data processing, health, maintenance, bus drivers, security, and cafeteria workers.
- school-based administrators: Those staff members whose activities are concerned with directing and managing the operation of a particular school. These activities include supervision of school activities, assignment of duties to staff members, supervision and maintenance of the records of the school, and coordination of school instructional activities with those of the education agency. Such positions would include principals, assistant principals and other assistants,
and department chairpersons.
- other officials/administrators: Chief executive officers of the education agencies, including
superintendents, deputies and assistant superintendents, and other persons having districtwide responsibilities, e.g., business managers, administrative assistants, professional instructional support staff, Title 1 coordinators, and home economics supervisors.
- Average students per teacher by grade level: The overall figure represents the total student membership divided by total teachers. It does not represent average class size. The other three figures represent the median ratio for all schools with membership and teachers in schools of specified grade spans. These three groups do not account for all schools.
- primary school: public schools with a low grade ranging from prekindergarten to 3 and a high
grade up to 6.
- middle school: public schools with a low grade ranging from 4 to 7 and a high grade ranging
from 4 to 9.
- high school: public schools with a low grade ranging from 7 to 12 and a high grade of 12.
- Teacher to all other staff ratio: The ratio of total teachers to the total of all other categories of
- Teacher to administrator ratio: The ratio of total teachers to the total of school-based administrators
and other officials/administrators.
- Average salary of full-time teachers by years of experience: Average annual base salary
of public school full-time teachers by the total number of years of full-time and part-time teaching in public and private schools.
- Average teacher salary: Average annual salary of all public school teachers.
- Average beginning teacher salary: Average annual salary of all public school first-year teachers.
- Public school teachers by age: The percentage of teachers falling into one of the four age groups defined.
- Preparation of teachers: The percentage of teachers according to the highest academic degree
- Federal aid to education under selected programs
- National school lunch: Federal reimbursement to states during FY 1988 and FY 1997 under
the National School Lunch Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service.
- National school breakfast: Federal reimbursement to states during FY 1988 and FY 1997 under School Breakfast Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service.
- Title I: U.S. Department of Education obligations during FY 1988 and FY 1997 for grants for the disadvantaged under Title I (formerly Chapter 1 under Education Consolidation and Improvement Act of 1981), Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1994.
- Handicapped education: U.S. Department of Education obligations during FY 1988 and
FY 1997 for education for the handicapped, including State Grants and Preschool Incentive Grants to States.
- Vocational and adult education: U.S. Department of Education obligations during FY 1988 and FY997 for vocational and adult education.
- School improvement: U.S. Department of Education obligations during FY 1988 and
FY 1997 for block grants to states for school improvement, including Chapter 2, Education Consolidation and Improvement Act of 1981, and Science and Mathematics Education.
- School assistance: U.S. Department of Education obligations during FY 1988 and FY 1997 for school assistance in federally affected areas, including maintenance and operations.
- Bilingual education: U.S. Department of Education obligations during FY 1988 and FY 1997
for bilingual education, including Bilingual Education, Bilingual Vocational Training, and Emergency Immigrant Education Assistance.
- Indian education: U.S. Department of Education obligations during FY 1988 and FY 1997 for Indian education. It includes only the funds sent to state and local governments.
- Revenues for elementary/secondary education: Additions to assets that do not incur an obligation that must be met at some future date, do not represent exchanges of fixed assets, and are available for expenditure by the local education agencies in the state to provide elementary/secondary
- Revenues from local sources: Revenues produced within the LEA boundaries and available
to the LEA in the amount produced. Includes taxes levied or assessed by an LEA; revenues from a local government to the LEA; tuition received; transportation fees; earnings on investments
from LEA holdings; net revenues from student activities (gross receipts less gross expenditures); net revenues from student activities (gross receipts less gross expenditures); and other
revenues (textbook sales, donations, property rentals). Also included are revenues from intermediate sources, i.e., those received from an intermediate governmental unit or political subdivision
between the state and the LEA that collects revenue and distributes it to an LEA. Includes restricted and unrestricted grants in aid; revenue in lieu of taxes; and revenue for or on
behalf of the LEA. Excluded are proceeds from bond sales, cash received from sale of assets; other non revenue receipts, intergovernmental transfers among LEAs, and revenues from community
- Revenues from state sources: Grants and other monies received by LEAs from state funds. Includes restricted and unrestricted grants-in-aid; revenue in lieu of taxes, and revenue for or on behalf of the LEA. Excluded are proceeds from bond sales, cash received from sale of assets; other non revenue receipts, intergovernmental transfers among LEAs; and revenues from community areas.
- Revenues from federal sources: Grants and other monies received by LEAs from federal agencies, either directly from the federal agency or distributed through a state agency. Includes restricted and unrestricted grants-in-aid; revenue in lieu of taxes; and revenue for or on behalf of
the LEA. Excluded are proceeds from bond sales; cash received from sale of assets; other non revenue receipts; intergovernmental transfers among LEAs; and revenues from community services.
- Current expenditures: for the categories of instruction, support services, and non instructional services including fixed charges (employee benefits and rent). They do not include expenditures for debt service and capital outlay.5
- Current expenditures for instruction: Those expenditures for activities dealing directly
with the interaction between students and teachers. Includes salaries, employee benefits, and purchased services and supplies.
- Current expenditures for non instruction: Those expenditures for food service operations
and other auxiliary enterprise operations (bookstore, interscholastic athletics). Excluded are expenditures for community services (child care, swimming pool).
- Current expenditures for support services: Those expenditures for student support services
(attendance, guidance, health, speech, psychological), staff support services, improvement of instruction, educational media (including librarians), general administration (board of education,
central office), school administration (principal), business (fiscal services, purchasing, warehousing, printing), operation and maintenance of plant, student transportation services,
and central expenditures (research, information services, data processing).
- Revenue per pupil in membership: Result obtained by dividing the total revenues for elementary/
secondary education by the total membership reported for the state for school years 1987/88 and 1996/97.
- Current expenditure per pupil in membership: Result obtained by dividing the total current
expenditures for elementary/secondary education by the total membership reported for the state for school years 1987/88 and 1996/97.
2. When information is missing for one or more states, as is the case with counts of students with IEPs, free-lunch eligibles, and dropouts, NCES does not calculate national totals. (A state is considered to have missing data if an item is reported by less than 70 percent of the schools or agencies.)
3. See footnote 2.
4. See footnote 2.
5. Beginning with the SY 1988/89 collection the survey instrument was changed. SY 1987/88 (and earlier) expenditure data may include expenditures for property and equipment not included in post SY 1987/88 data.