Public elementary and secondary schools had 49.3 million students
in membership3 in school year
2007-08 (table 1). This was a decrease of less than 0.1 percent from student
membership in school year 2006-07 (Sable and Noel 2008, table 1).
Summing across grades, 34.3 million students were enrolled in prekindergarten
through grade 8 and ungraded classes; 15.0 million students were enrolled in
grades 9-12 in the 2007-08 school year (derived from table 1).
When examining students for whom race/ethnicity was reported in
the 2007-08 school year,4
55.8 percent were White, non-Hispanic; 21.1 percent were Hispanic; 17.0 percent were
Black, non-Hispanic; 4.8 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander; and 1.2 percent
were American Indian/Alaska Native (table 2). The percentage of students who
were White, non-Hispanic decreased from 56.5 percent for White, non-Hispanic
students in school year 2006-07 (Sable and Noel 2008).
In school year 2007-08, public elementary and secondary schools and local
education agencies employed a total of 6.2 million FTE staff (table 3). This was
an increase of less than 1 percent from the number of FTE staff employed in school
year 2006-07 (Sable and Noel 2008, table 3).
Of the FTE staff in the 2007-08 school year, 51.1 percent were
teachers, 15.3 percent were instructional aides, instructional coordinators
and supervisors, guidance counselors, or librarians, and 23.1 percent were student
and other support staff. About 3.5 percent were school or district administrators
and 7.0 percent were administrative support staff (derived from table 3).
The student/teacher ratio in public schools in school year 2007-08 was
15.5 (i.e., there were about 16 students for every FTE teacher employed) (table 4).
The ratio ranged from a high of 23.7 in Utah to a low of 10.7 in Vermont.
The elementary student/teacher ratio was 20.1, while the secondary student/teacher
ratio was 11.9.
The category of other instructional and student support includes instructional
aides, instructional coordinators and supervisors, librarians, library support,
and student support services staff. In the 2007-08 school year, there were
about 43 students for every instructional and student support staff member (table 4).
3 Membership is the number of students enrolled on October 1 of the school year. 4 Race/ethnicity was reported for 98.4 percent of the total student membership.