More back-to-school facts

September 8, 2008

by Jenni Sebora

There is plenty of opportunity for learning in America. Education is important in America. Here are more facts and figures regarding back to school.

There are 95,726 public elementary and secondary schools and 28,384 private schools in America as of March 2004. There are also 4,276 institutions of higher learning that granted college degrees in 2005.

The number of students being home schooled is also on the increase, as well as the number of charter schools.

In 2003, 1.1 million students were home schooled, which equates to two percent of all students, 5-17 years old.

The number of public charter schools nationwide in 2004-05 was 3,294. These schools enrolled 887,000 students.

There must be teachers that teach our students, and there are statistics that track information regarding this as well.

In 2006, there were 6.8 million teachers in U.S. schools, with 2.7 million at the elementary and middle school levels.

School staff must be paid. How much do they make, on average? Well, according to the census bureau, as of 2003-04, Connecticut paid their teachers the most – $57,300 was the average annual salary paid to public elementary and secondary teachers in Connecticut.

Teachers in South Dakota received the lowest pay, $33,200.

The national average salary for teachers was $46,800. High school principals earned $86,938.

How about some of our other necessary school staff? The average hourly wage for our nation’s school bus drivers (2004-05) was $14.18 per hour. Custodians earned $12.61 hourly and cafeteria workers, or food service staff – $10.33 per hour.

Technology use is on the rise everywhere it seems, including in our schools. Our students need to be computer savvy, and many of our young students seem to know more about computers and technology than many of us adults.

There are 14.2 million computers available for classroom use in our nation’s elementary and secondary schools as of 2005-06, which works out to one computer for every four students.

As of the fall of 2003, 100 percent of our public schools have Internet access.

The average tuition, room and board for the cost of college (in-state students) at a nation’s four-year public college for one academic year (2005-06) is $13,425, which is more than double the corresponding 1990 figure.

For our nation’s private schools, the average cost is $36,510 (2005-06).

Although the costs of college are high, the rewards of staying in college are great.

Studies convey that on average the more educated, the greater the salary one can make.

The average annual 2005 earnings of workers 18 and older with an advanced degree is $79,946. This compares with $54,689 a year for those with a bachelor’s degree, $29,448 for those with a high school diploma and $19,915 for those without a high school diploma.

Regarding public elementary and secondary education spending, the nationwide average per pupil expenditure was $8,701 in 2005.

New York spent the most ($14,119) followed by New Jersey ($13,800), District of Columbia ($12,979), Vermont ($11,835), Connecticut ($11,572).

Utah spent the least ($5,257) followed by Arizona ($6,261), Idaho ($6,283), Mississippi ($6,575), Oklahoma ($6,613).

We all know that education pays off.

There it is – some facts and figures for yet another start of a school year. I wish all the students good luck this school year, whether attending a public school, a private school, a charter school or home schooled, whether it is preschool, elementary, high school or college.

School can be hard work, but it can also be fun and reaps rewards beyond even all of the numbers and statistics. Good Luck.