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Characteristics of Public, Private, and Bureau of Indian Education Elementary and Secondary School Teachers in the United States: Results From the 2007–08 Schools and Staffing Survey
NCES 2009-324
June 2009

Selected Findings

  • In the 2007–08 school year, there were an estimated 3,898,400 teachers in the United States. About 3,404,500 of them were in public schools, 489,500 were in private schools, and 4,400 were in BIE-funded schools (table 1).

  • About 83 percent of all public school teachers were non-Hispanic White, 7 percent were non-Hispanic Black, and 7 percent were Hispanic. Among all private school teachers, 86 percent were non-Hispanic White, 4 percent were non- Hispanic Black, and 6 percent were Hispanic (table 2).

  • The average age of teachers in traditional public schools (42.3 years) was greater than the average age of teachers in public charter schools (37.9 years). The average age of teachers in Catholic schools (45.6 years) was greater than the average age of teachers in Nonsectarian schools (43.2 years) (table 3).

  • On average, public school teachers had 13.0 years of full-time teaching experience. Private school teachers, on average, had 11.6 years of full-time teaching experience (table 4).

  • The percentage of public school teachers with a master's degree as their highest degree was higher in traditional public schools (45 percent) than in public charter schools (30 percent). Among private school teachers, the percentage with a master's degree as their highest degree was higher in Nonsectarian schools (38 percent) and Catholic schools (35 percent) than in Other Religious schools (28 percent) (table 5).

  • On average, regular full-time public school teachers spent 52.8 hours per week on all school-related activities, including 30.2 hours per week delivering instruction to students. Regular full-time private school teachers, on average, spent 52.1 hours per week on all school related activities, including 30.1 hours per week delivering instruction to students (table 6).

  • In 2007-08, the average annual base salary of regular full-time public school teachers ($49,600) was higher than the average annual base salary of regular fulltime private school teachers ($36,300) (table 7).

  • Among public school teachers of self-contained classes in elementary schools, the average class size was 20.3 students per class. Among private school teachers of self-contained classes in elementary schools, the average class size was 18.1 students per class (table 8).

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