According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), it’s going to be a record-breaking year for the number of students in pre-kindergarten through high school throughout the United States. About 56.6 million students will attend school – about 5.8 million of which will be in private schools. Last year was the highest enrollment ever reported for public schools, and it’s projected that the record will again be broken this year.
They’ll be educated by approximately 3.7 million teachers. That’s up from about 1.3 million teachers in 1995, when NCES first began keeping track of these statistics.
They’re crucial in shaping the minds of children and preparing them for careers in the real world. Speaking of careers, how does their own profession fare?
The latest statistics are from the 2016/2017 year. According to NCES, the average salary for school teachers was $58, 960. If you adjust for inflation, teachers took a 2-percent pay cut from what they earned in 1990. Not all teachers make this wage, of course, but while we often hear that they’re underpaid, the Social Security Administration reports that the average wage index for this time period was $48,642.
It won’t make you rich, but it can be a rewarding job. And many public school teachers belong to unions which give them the bargaining power to receive something that many Americans no longer have – retirement pension programs.
The profession remains dominated by females. About 77 percent of American public school teachers are women, and 32 percent have been teaching for more than 20 years. About 84 percent of these teachers are known as “stayers,” meaning that they remain at the school they taught at the previous year. Many public school teachers – about 60 percent – who do move do so to take a position at another school in the same district.
We know how much, generally, we pay our public school teachers – but how much is invested in students? NCES estimates it’ll be approximately $13,440 per student at the elementary and secondary level. In total, more than $680 billion in expenditures are expected for this coming school year.
Not All Numbers are Going Up
This Fall, an estimated 19.9 million students will attend American colleges and universities. About 14.7 million will go to a public institution, and 12.1 million will attend full time. More of these students will be female – about 57%. Nearly 70 percent of all attending will participate in a four-year program.
Attending college isn’t just for those under the age of 25, either. More than 37 percent of these students are older than 25.
College enrollment peaked in the 2010/2011 school year, with a total of 21 million. Attendance has decreased more than 5 percent over the past decade. One of the reasons could be at about 43 million American adults – or a sixth of the population – carries a federal student loan debt. The total is more than $1.5 trillion, and there’s an additional $119 billion in loans from private sources.
Nothing about education in America is a small affair. It’s a giant seasonal boost to buying, that peaks in August, but impacts both July and September. And while an increasing amount of education becomes digital and moves online, 88 percent of parents say they will shop with mass merchants.
Traditional school supplies are still vitally important. Parents say they’ll purchase nearly $117 worth this year per student. It’s why we remain busy supporting educational institutions with custom plastic folders, envelopes, pouches, and sleeves more than 40 years after we started. Students, teachers, and educational institutions appreciate the flexibility of our products, which can be customized with colors, finish, adhesive backing, debossing, and even a variety of hardware enclosures.