A Back to School Special Report: The Baby Boom Echo

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In this news release, United States Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley states that a record 51.7 million students will enter the nation's classrooms in the Fall of 1996. Enrollment is expected to reach 54.6 million students in public and private elementary schools in the year 2006. The Secretary noted that nationwide about 190,000 additional teachers and some 6,000 more schools will be needed over the next 10 years to accommodate what demographers call the baby-boom echo--the children of the so-called baby-boomer generation who are now in school. States expected to experience an overall jump of more than 10 percent in enrollments over the next decade include Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington. In all, 33 states will have rising enrollments. Secretary Riley cited four factors for rising enrollments--a delay in marriage and child bearing among baby boomers, a higher birth rate among minorities, immigration, and students staying in school longer. High school enrollment will increase by 15 percent nationwide over the next decade, and the number of students attending America's colleges will grow by some 2 million. Riley asserts that if American society provides all students with the skills and knowledge demanded by the jobs of the next century, America can expect rising incomes and solid economic growth. Methodological notes, 12 figures, and 8 tables are included.
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