U.S. “Student-to-Teacher” Ratio in Public Schools

If you ever debate public education with people you will sometimes hear the phrase “student-to-teacher” ratio as a source of need for more funding or for better teaching. JustFactsDaily.com released an e-mail with this question and the result may surprise you.

In 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Education, the average student-to-teacher ratio in public schools during 2010 was 16:1.

The National Center for Education Statistics also has information on student to teacher ratio in education.

During the 1970s and early 1980s, public school enrollment decreased, while the number of teachers generally increased. For public schools, the number of pupils per teacher—that is, the pupil/teacher ratio—declined from 22.3 in 1970 to 17.9 in 1985. After enrollment started increasing in 1985, the public school pupil/teacher ratio continued to decline, reaching 17.2 in 1989. After a period of relative stability during the late 1980s through the mid-1990s, the ratio declined from 17.3 in 1995 to 15.4 in 2009. The public school pupil/teacher ratio increased to 16.0 in 2010. By comparison, the pupil/teacher ratio for private schools was estimated at 12.2 in 2010. The average class size in 2007–08 was 20.0 pupils for public elementary schools and 23.4 pupils for public secondary schools.

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