The Black Percentage of School Principals Has Declined in Recent Years

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education offers statistics on K-12 school principals in the United States. Some of the data is broken down by racial and ethnic group.

Overall, during the 2020-21 school year, 78.4 percent of school principals were non-Hispanic White, 9.5 percent were Black or African American, 8.7 percent were Hispanic, and 3.6 percent were another race/ethnicity. In the 2017-18 school year, Blacks were 11 percent of all school principals.

In the nation’s public schools, Blacks made up 10.4 percent of all principals. Blacks made up 18.5 percent of all principals in urban schools (down from 20 percent in the 2017-18 school year) but only 9.8 percent of all principals in suburban schools and 4.6 percent of all principals at schools in rural areas. Blacks were 16.3 percent of all principals at public charter schools.

African Americans were 18.4 percent of all principals at schools where 75 percent of all students qualified for federally financed school lunches. But Blacks were only 3.6 percent of the principals in schools where less than 35 percent of all students qualified for free lunches.

Among private school principals, 83.1 percent were non-Hispanic White, 6.1 percent were Black or African American, and 6.3 percent were Hispanic.

The full report, Characteristics of 2020–21 Public and Private K–12 School Principals in the United States: Results From the National Teacher and Principal Survey, may be downloaded here.


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