Elementary schools in the U.S. - Statistics & Facts

Elementary, or primary education, customarily refers to the first six years of formal education received in schools in the United States. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, there were about 89,000 elementary schools operating in the United States between 2016 and 2017; both private and public. In 2018, school enrollment in public and private elementary schools was generally higher than in other education institutions.

The curriculum of the public school system in the U.S. is determined by local authorities under district or state control. Each state selects course texts and curriculum literature that reflect its learning standards. Different educational methods between states have their effects on how teaching and learning take place, resulting in inconsistencies nationwide. Thus, teachers play an important role in the overall quality of education. According to 2019 data, the number of teachers in elementary schools has been on a steady upward trajectory in the recent years, having a positive impact on the teacher pupil ratio.

For those wishing to enter the teacher's profession, various benefits and a constantly improving work environment are offered. As of 2018, the average teachers' salary in the United States was one of the highest in the world. Teachers working in a public elementary school had an average salary of 83,585 U.S. dollars in the state of New York. Another positive aspect was the increasing expenditure on public and private elementary schools. In 2016, expenditure per pupil had nearly doubled since 1998.

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Elementary schools in the U.S.

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Revenue and expenditure

National school lunch program


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