Public elementary and secondary schools had 49.5 million students in membership3 in school year 2010–11 (table 1). This was an increase of 0.2 percent from student membership in school year 2009–10 (Sable and Plotts 2010).
Summing across grades, there were 34.6 million students enrolled in prekindergarten through grade 8 and ungraded classes; there were 14.8 million students enrolled in grades 9–12 in the 2010–11 school year (derived from table 1).
Among students for whom race/ethnicity was reported in the 2010–11 school year,4 52 percent of students were White; 23 percent were Hispanic; 16 percent were Black; 5 percent were Asian; 1 percent were American Indian/Alaska Native; less than 1 percent were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and 2 percent were of Two or more races (table 2).
In school year 2010–11, public elementary and secondary schools and local education agencies employed a total of 6.2 million full-time-equivalent (FTE) staff (table 3). This was a decrease of 2.5 percent from the number of FTE staff employed in school year 2009–10 (Sable and Plotts 2010).
Of the FTE staff in the 2010–11 school year, 50 percent were teachers; 15 percent were instructional aides, instructional coordinators and supervisors, guidance counselors/directors, or librarians; and 24 percent were student and other support staff. School or district administrators comprised 4 percent of staff, and administrative support staff comprised the remaining 7 percent (derived from table 3).
The student/teacher ratio (i.e., the number of students for every teacher FTE) in public schools increased from 15.4 in school year 2009–10 (Sable and Plotts 2010) to 16.0 in school year 2010–11 (table 4). The ratio ranged from a high of 24.1 in California to a low of 11.4 in North Dakota. The elementary student/teacher ratio was 20.0, while the secondary student/teacher ratio was 12.4.
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 2010–11 school year, there were about 42.9 students for every instructional and student support staff member (table 4).
3 Membership is the number of students enrolled on October 1 of the reported school year. 4 Race/ethnicity was reported for 99.8 percent of the total student membership. All 50 states and the District of Columbia reported counts of students who were "Two or more races."