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Digest of Education Statistics
2022 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest


Table 212.30. Number and percentage distribution of public school principals, by mobility or attrition since the previous school year and occupational status: 2008-09, 2012-13, and 2016-17
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Mobility or attrition since the previous school year and occupational status 2008-09 2012-13 2016-17
Total number of public school principals Percentage distribution Total number of public school principals Percentage distribution Total number of public school principals Percentage distribution
Of all public school principals Of principals within each mobility or attrition category Of all public school principals Of principals within each mobility or attrition category Of all public school principals Of principals within each mobility or attrition category
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Total, all public school principals 89,920   (554) 100.0   (†)   (†) 89,530   (415) 100.0   (†)   (†) 86,180   (395) 100.0   (†)   (†)
Stayed at the same school, remaining its principal1 71,440   (862) 79.5   (0.88) 100.0   (†) 69,320   (642) 77.4   (0.59) 100.0   (†) 70,830   (644) 82.2   (0.62) 100.0   (†)
                                                       
Moved to a different school to work as its principal 6,210   (538) 6.9   (0.60) 100.0   (†) 6,230   (396) 7.0   (0.44) 100.0   (†) 5,200   (334) 6.0   (0.39) 100.0   (†)
Working as principal at a public school in the
   same school district
3,310   (411) 3.7   (0.46) 53.3   (4.40) 3,340   (311) 3.7   (0.35) 53.6   (3.02) 3,080   (272) 3.6   (0.32) 59.1   (3.02)
Working as principal at a public school in a
   different school district
2,150   (321) 2.4   (0.35) 34.7   (4.10) 1,940   (196) 2.2   (0.22) 31.1   (2.73) 1,880   (178) 2.2   (0.21) 36.2   (2.92)
Working as principal at a private school   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†) 0.1 ! (0.05) 1.6 ! (0.66)   (†) 0.1 ! (0.05) 2.2 ! (0.75)
Working as a principal at a public school in an
   unknown district or at a school with unknown
   control
670   (137) 0.7   (0.15) 10.8   (2.23) 850   (136) 0.9   (0.15) 13.6   (2.05)   (†) 0.2 ! (0.06) 2.5 ! (0.93)
                                                       
Stopped working as a principal2 10,690   (586) 11.9   (0.64) 100.0   (†) 10,270   (417) 11.5   (0.48) 100.0   (†) 8,430   (399) 9.8   (0.47) 100.0   (†)
                                                       
Retired, not working outside of home 4,860   (408) 5.4   (0.45) 45.4   (3.07) 3,860   (254) 4.3   (0.29) 37.6   (1.89) 2,720   (232) 3.2   (0.27) 32.3   (2.30)
Deceased   (†) 0.1 ! (0.03) 0.6 ! (0.26)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†) 0.1 ! (0.04) 0.9 ! (0.46)
                                                       
Working in a kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12)
   school, but not as a principal3
1,670   (304) 1.9   (0.34) 15.6   (2.71) 2,530   (210) 2.8   (0.24) 24.6   (1.86) 2,260   (208) 2.6   (0.24) 26.9   (2.05)
Working in the same school, but not as principal 350   (104) 0.4   (0.12) 3.3   (0.96) 890   (140) 1.0   (0.16) 8.6   (1.36) 690   (110) 0.8   (0.13) 8.2   (1.28)
Working in a different public school, but not as
principal
1,080   (227) 1.2   (0.25) 10.1   (2.05) 1,440   (168) 1.6   (0.19) 14.0   (1.53) 1,470   (175) 1.7   (0.20) 17.5   (1.81)
Working in a private school, but not as principal   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†) 0.1 ! (0.04) 1.1 ! (0.39)
                                                       
Working in K-12 education, but not in a school 3,540   (375) 3.9   (0.42) 33.2   (2.71) 3,070   (257) 3.4   (0.29) 29.9   (2.12) 2,690   (221) 3.1   (0.26) 32.0   (2.31)
Working in a district or administrative office as a
   superintendent, assistant superintendent, or
   other higher level administrator
2,350   (336) 2.6   (0.37) 21.9   (2.59) 1,900   (202) 2.1   (0.23) 18.5   (1.88) 1,580   (167) 1.8   (0.19) 18.8   (1.91)
Working in a district or administrative office, in
   a position other than that of a higher level
   administrator
880   (177) 1.0   (0.20) 8.3   (1.63) 820   (150) 0.9   (0.17) 8.0   (1.37) 730   (121) 0.9   (0.14) 8.7   (1.36)
Working at a job associated with K-12 education,
   but not directly associated with any schools or
   school systems
  (†) 0.3 ! (0.10) 2.3 ! (0.86)   (†) 0.3   (0.10) 2.9   (0.80)   (†) 0.3   (0.09) 3.6   (0.88)
Position unknown   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†) 0.1 ! (0.03) 0.5 ! (0.25)   (†) 0.1 ! (0.04) 0.9 ! (0.45)
                                                       
Working at a job outside of K-12 education 340   (83) 0.4   (0.09) 3.2   (0.81) 710   (137) 0.8   (0.15) 6.9   (1.31) 670   (129) 0.8   (0.15) 8.0   (1.44)
                                                       
No longer at same school, status unknown4 1,570   (277) 1.8   (0.31) 100.0   (†) 3,710   (307) 4.1   (0.34) 100.0   (†) 1,720   (181) 2.0   (0.21) 100.0   (†)
†Not applicable.
!Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
‡Reporting standards not met. Either there are too few cases for a reliable estimate or the coefficient of variation (CV) is 50 percent or greater.
1 Includes those who were on leave (e.g., maternity/paternity, military, disability, or sabbatical).
2 For 2008-09 only, also includes principals not working outside of home and not retired. These principals are not listed separately.
3 In addition to former public school principals working at a different job in the listed types of schools, also includes those in a school with unknown control.
4 The school reported that the principal had left since the previous school year, but it was unable to report on the current occupational status of the principal.
NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding and the suppression of cells that do not meet reporting standards.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), "Public School Principal Data File," 2007-08 and 2011-12; SASS Principal Follow-up Survey (PFS), "Public School Principal Status Data File," 2008–09 and 2012-13; National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS), "Public School Principal Data File," 2015-16; and NTPS Principal Follow-up Survey (PFS), "Public School Principal Status Data File," 2016–17. (This table was prepared November 2018.)

2022 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest