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Digest of Education Statistics, 2009


The number of public school teachers has risen faster than the number of public school students over the past 10 years, resulting in declines in the pupil/teacher ratio. In the fall of 2009, there were a projected 15.3 public school pupils per teacher, compared with 16.1 public school pupils per teacher 10 years earlier. The "Digest of Education Statistics, 2009" is the 45th in a series of publications initiated in 1962. The Digest's primary purpose is to provide a compilation of statistical information covering the broad field of American education from prekindergarten through graduate school. Other findings include:

* Record levels of total elementary, secondary, and college enrollment are expected through at least 2018.

* The status dropout rate--that is, the percentage of 16- to 24-year-olds not enrolled in school and who have not received either a diploma or an equivalency credential -- declined from 13 percent in 1988 to 8 percent in 2008. The percentage of young adults (25- to 29-year-olds) who had completed high school in 2009 was about the same as it was in 1999 (89 and 88 percent, respectively).

* Expenditures for public and private education, from prekindergarten through graduate school (excluding postsecondary schools not awarding associate's or higher degrees), are estimated at $1.1 trillion for 2008-09. Total expenditures for education are expected to amount to 7.6 percent of the gross domestic product in 2008-09, about 0.7 percentage points higher than in 1998-99.