The number of young students who are reading with their families has increased since 1998, although a reading gap remains between poor and affluent families, new data from the U.S. Census Bureau show. The number of students taking advanced academic courses also has increased since 1998, as has the number of low-income students participating in academic enrichment, according to the "A Child's Day: 2009" report.
New York state schools spent more on average per student than any other state -- $17,173 -- while Utah schools were last, spending $5,765 per student, according to recently released U.S. Census data from the 2007-08 school year. The nationwide average is $10,259 per student. For New York, the per-pupil average was called less significant by one official because rural parts of the state spend far less than districts such as on Long Island. Utah trailed the next lowest state, Idaho, by 20%.
Hispanics account for one-fifth of students in kindergarten through 12th grade overall, and about one-quarter of the country's kindergartners, according to recently released census data. If the trend continues, minority students will become the majority by 2023, and officials say the future of U.S. education relies on reaching out to Hispanic students.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that due to a computer programming error, it has been overstating the number of people without health insurance since 1995. The reissued figures show the number of people without health insurance in 2005 was 44.8 million, or 15.3% of the population, not 46.6 million, or 15.9%, as was originally estimated.
According to Census Bureau data released yesterday, U.S. school districts' debt rose 12% to $226 billion in the 2001-02 school year. The figures, reflective of the worsening U.S. economy at the time, do not include costs associated with NCLB, which was signed into law in 2002.