The Racial Makeup of the Nation’s Public Schools

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education shows that in the 2007-08 academic year, there were 48,515,020 students in the nation’s K-12 public schools. Of these, 8,267,000, or 17 percent, were African Americans. (Blacks are a larger percentage of the younger U.S. population than the population as a whole. Also, large numbers of white students attend private K-12 schools.)

In the state of Mississippi, over one half of all public school students were black. In Louisiana, 46 percent of all public school children were black. In the states of Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, and South Carolina, more than 30 percent of all students were black.

Montana had the fewest black school students in the 2007-08 academic year. There were 1,365 blacks in Montana’s public schools, making up one percent of the total. Blacks were less than 2 percent of all public school students in Idaho, Utah, New Hampshire, and Vermont.