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Indicators

This is a supplemental indicator. Unlike core indicators, which, for the most part, are updated yearly, supplemental indicators may only be updated periodically.

Characteristics of Traditional Public, Public Charter, and Private School Teachers
(Last Updated: May 2020)

In 2017–18, the percentage of teachers who had completed a postbaccalaureate degree was higher for traditional public school teachers (59 percent) than for private and public charter school teachers (48 and 46 percent, respectively). The percentage of teachers who had less than a bachelor’s degree as their highest degree was lower for traditional public and public charter school teachers (3 percent each) than for private school teachers (10 percent).

In the 2017–18 school year, there were 3.3 million full-time and part-time traditional public school teachers, 205,600 public charter school teachers, and 509,200 private school teachers.1 The number of traditional public school teachers in 2017–18 was 12 percent higher than in 1999–2000 (3.0 million), the number of public charter school teachers in 2017–18 was 1,076 percent higher than in 1999–2000 (17,500), and the number of private school teachers in 2017–18 was 13 percent higher than in 1999–2000 (449,100). This indicator describes the characteristics of traditional public, public charter, and private school teachers in 2017–18 with respect to their demographic characteristics, years of experience, and educational attainment. This indicator also compares the percentage of traditional public and public charter school teachers by certification type.


Figure 1. Percentage distribution of teachers in traditional public, public charter, and private elementary and secondary schools, by race/ethnicity: 2017–18

Figure 1. Percentage distribution of teachers in traditional public, public charter, and private elementary and secondary schools, by race/ethnicity: 2017–18

# Rounds to zero.
NOTE: Excludes teachers who teach only prekindergarten. Data are based on a head count of full-time and part-time teachers rather than on the number of full-time-equivalent teachers. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS), “Public School Teacher Data File” and “Private School Teacher Data File,” 2017–18. See Digest of Education Statistics 2019, tables 209.10 and 209.21.


In 2017–18, a higher percentage of private school teachers than of traditional public school teachers were White (85 vs. 80 percent), and both percentages were higher than the percentage of public charter school teachers who were White (68 percent). In contrast, a lower percentage of private school teachers than of traditional public school teachers were Black (3 vs. 7 percent), and both percentages were lower than the percentage of public charter school teachers who were Black (10 percent). The same pattern can be observed for the percentages of teachers who were Hispanic: some 7 percent of private school teachers, 9 percent of traditional public school teachers, and 16 percent of public charter school teachers were Hispanic. The percentage of teachers who were Asian was higher for public charter and private school teachers (3 percent each) than for traditional public school teachers (2 percent). The percentages of teachers who were Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native, or of Two or more races were 2 percent or less at all three types of schools. A higher percentage of private school teachers (26 percent) than of traditional public and public charter school teachers (24 percent each) were male.


Figure 2. Percentage distribution of teachers in traditional public, public charter, and private elementary and secondary schools, by age and years of full-time and part-time teaching experience: 2017–18

Figure 2. Percentage distribution of teachers in traditional public, public charter, and private elementary and secondary schools, by age and years of full-time and part-time teaching experience: 2017–18

NOTE: Excludes teachers who teach only prekindergarten. Data are based on a head count of full-time and part-time teachers rather than on the number of full-time-equivalent teachers. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS), “Public School Teacher Data File” and “Private School Teacher Data File,” 2017–18. See Digest of Education Statistics 2019, tables 209.10 and 209.21.


The private school and traditional public school teacher workforces were older than the public charter school teacher workforce in 2017–18. For instance, the percentage of teachers who were in the 60 and over age category was higher for private school teachers (15 percent) than for traditional public school teachers (8 percent), and both percentages were higher than the percentage of public charter school teachers who were 60 and over (6 percent). In contrast, private school and traditional public school teachers had lower percentages of their workforces in the age categories under 40 compared with public charter school teachers. For instance, 14 percent of traditional public school teachers and 16 percent of private school teachers were under 30, compared with 24 percent of public charter school teachers.

The private school and traditional public school teacher workforces had more teaching experience than the public charter school teacher workforce in 2017–18. Higher percentages of private and traditional public school teachers had over 20 years of full-time and part-time teaching experience (25 and 24 percent, respectively) compared with public charter school teachers (11 percent). In contrast, lower percentages of traditional public and private school teachers had 9 or fewer years of teaching experience compared with public charter school teachers. For instance, 9 percent of traditional public school teachers, 12 percent of private school teachers, and 16 percent of public charter school teachers had less than 3 years of teaching experience.


Figure 3. Percentage distribution of teachers in traditional public, public charter, and private elementary and secondary schools, by highest degree earned: 2017–18

Figure 3. Percentage distribution of teachers in traditional public, public charter, and private elementary and secondary schools, by highest degree earned: 2017–18

1 Education specialist degrees or certificates are generally awarded for 1 year’s work beyond the master’s level. Includes certificate of advanced graduate studies.
NOTE: Excludes teachers who teach only prekindergarten. Data are based on a head count of full-time and part-time teachers rather than on the number of full-time-equivalent teachers. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS), “Public School Teacher Data File” and “Private School Teacher Data File,” 2017–18. See Digest of Education Statistics 2019, tables 209.10 and 209.21.


In 2017–18, the percentage of teachers who had completed a postbaccalaureate degree (including a master’s degree, an education specialist degree or certificate,2 and a doctor’s degree) was higher for traditional public school teachers (59 percent) than for private and public charter school teachers (48 and 46 percent, respectively). A lower percentage of traditional public school teachers than of private school teachers had a bachelor’s degree as their highest degree (39 vs. 42 percent), and both percentages were lower than the percentage of public charter school teachers who had a bachelor’s degree as their highest degree (50 percent). Lower percentages of traditional public and public charter school teachers had less than a bachelor’s degree as their highest degree (3 percent each) compared with private school teachers (10 percent).


Figure 4. Percentage distribution of teachers in traditional public and public charter elementary and secondary schools, by certification type: 2017–18

Figure 4. Percentage distribution of teachers in traditional public and public charter elementary and secondary schools, by certification type: 2017–18

NOTE: Excludes teachers who teach only prekindergarten. Data are based on a head count of full-time and part-time teachers rather than on the number of full-time-equivalent teachers. Certification type refers to certification of teachers to teach in the state where they are currently teaching. A teaching certificate is probationary if all requirements have been satisfied except completion of a probationary period. It is provisional or temporary if additional coursework, student teaching, or passage of a test is required to obtain regular certification. It is a waiver or emergency certificate if a certification program must be completed to continue teaching. Data on certification type are not available for private school teachers. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS), “Public School Teacher Data File,” 2017–18. See Digest of Education Statistics 2019, table 209.21.


Data on teaching certification were available for traditional public and public charter school teachers. In 2017–18, a higher percentage of traditional public school teachers than of public charter school teachers held a regular certification (91 vs. 76 percent). Lower percentages of traditional public school teachers than of public charter school teachers held a probationary certification (3 vs. 4 percent), a provisional or temporary certification (4 vs. 8 percent), a waiver or emergency certification (1 vs. 2 percent), or no certification (1 vs. 9 percent).3


1 Excludes teachers who taught only prekindergarten. These numbers are based on sample survey data and could differ from those based on other sample surveys or universe surveys.
2 Education specialist degrees or certificates are generally awarded for 1 year’s work beyond the master’s level. Includes certificate of advanced graduate studies.
3 Refers to certification of teachers to teach in the state where they are currently teaching. A teaching certificate is probationary if all requirements have been satisfied except completion of a probationary period. It is provisional or temporary if additional coursework, student teaching, or passage of a test is required to obtain regular certification. It is a waiver or emergency certificate if a certification program must be completed to continue teaching.


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