U.S. School System Continues to Grow According to Census Data

From: Robina Suwol
Date: 18 Aug 2003
Time: 22:01:52
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The burgeoning, bustling American school system continues to evolve. For one thing, it's bigger. According to Census Bureau figures released yesterday, more than 73 million students attend the nation's preschools, elementary and high schools, colleges and universities. One out of every four U.S. residents over the age of 3, in fact, is a student. The number of children in elementary and high schools alone -- more than 53 million -- has exceeded the old baby-boom record of 51.6 million, set in 1969, the last year the official boomers (born 1946-64) passed through our schools. Among those ages 5-17, 10 percent attend private school and 850,000 are home-schooled. There are 1,010 charter schools nationwide, serving 267,000 students. Twenty percent of those students have at least one foreign-born parent. Almost 10 million speak a language other than English at home, making up nearly 20 percent of children in this age group. More than two-thirds of those speak Spanish at home. It's the smallest ones, however, who are setting some real records. More than half -- 52 percent -- of our 3- and 4-year-olds go to preschool, up from 21 percent in 1970. Most spend a good amount of time there. According to the census figures, six out of 10 of them attend all-day preschools, up from one in 10 three decades ago. Our children lead plugged-in and often complicated lives, reports Jennifer Harper. http://www.washtimes.com/national/20030811-100201-6119r.htm

Last changed: March 14, 2006