Joint Committee to Develop a Master Plan for Education

Access to Quality Education

California Today

Growth: More of us...

California grows at a rate of approximately 400,000 to 600,000 persons annually, as a result of strong migration from both other states and other nations, high birth rates among segments of California's population, and longer life spans resulting from the advances of research and medicine. This strong growth rate is expected to continue over the next several decades and will result in a very different mix of people from what has been the case in previous decades.

Figure 1

Total California Population, 1960 to 2020


Source: Department of Finance, Demographic Research Unit, 2001 Projection Series

The Department of Finance annually produces a report which documents actual public school enrollment, and estimates likely public school enrollment, by grade level, for several years into the future. These reports provide data that are valuable for effective statewide planning for education. Similar reports are prepared annually documenting and estimating high school graduates - the primary source of postsecondary education enrollment demand - and enrollment in public colleges and universities. As illustrated in Table 1, following, public school enrollment in academic year 2010-11 is expected to grow by 249,422 over the actual 2000-01 public school enrollment, a 4.2 percent increase.

Looking different...

Public school enrollment growth will not be equal across all racial and ethnic groups. For instance, Latino students enrolled in public schools will likely increase by 25.5 percent between 2000-01 and 2010-11, while White students are expected to decline by 20.3 percent and Black students are expected to decline by 15.1 percent over the same time period. The data in Table 1 also reveal that in the 1990-91 academic year no racial or ethnic group constituted 50 percent or more of public school enrollment,a fact that has been true since 1988-89, yielding a mix of cultures, languages, and learning styles that has created extremely rich educational environments but that has also presented daunting challenges to California's public schools.

Table 1
K-12 Graded Public School Enrollment by Ethnicity, History, and Projection

Source: Department of Finance, Demographic Research Unit, 2001 Projection Series

School
Year
Total Amer.
Indian
Asian Black Filipino Hispanic Pacific
Island
White
Actual 1990-1991 4,842,174 37,263 382,985 411,868 108,319 1,661,799 26,358 2,213,582
1992-1993 5,089,808 40,471 417,957 432,709 120,984 1,836,757 28,427 2,212,503
1994-1995 5,242,078 45,118 435,311 450,078 127,772 1,982,161 29,565 2,172,073
1996-1997 5,512,155 47,479 456,537 473,948 132,681 2,187,148 32,496 2,181,866
1998-1999 5,748,344 49,380 470,483 492,299 137,963 2,373,881 36,303 2,188,035
2000-2001 5,967,170 51,641 483,958 498,694 144,365 2,585,676 38,489 2,164,347
Projected 2002-2003* 6,116,804 53,172 496,250 497,149 150,028 2,780,899 40,094 2,099,212
2004-2005* 6,207,704 54,390 509,002 486,735 154,249 2,946,721 41,071 2,015,536
2006-2007* 6,260,119 54,605 525,142 467,352 158,979 3,089,816 42,493 1,921,732
2008-2009* 6,246,620 53,814 542,283 443,682 163,000 3,184,726 43,757 1,815,358
2010-2011* 6,216,592 52,926 559,853 423,235 167,737 3,243,849 45,000 1,723,992
2000-2001 to 2010-2011 Change 4.18% 2.49% 15.68% 15.13% 16.19% 25.45% 16.92% -20.35%

Growing older...

The projected growth in California's population will be unevenly distributed across age groups, a fact which will result in different impacts on different portions of the education system. The fastest growing cohorts of the state population are the over 65 and 45-to-64-year-old age groups, which are estimated to increase by 71.4 percent and 44.8 percent, respectively, between calendar years 2000 and 2020. These cohorts constitute the so-called Baby Boom generation and are the cohorts most likely to seek educational opportunities through the California Community Colleges and through continuing education offered by the California State University and University of California systems. The 5-19-year-old age group is roughly the group that will be enrolling in public schools, and is estimated to grow by approximately 1.96 million between 2000 and 2020, a 24.7 percent increase. The cohort of Californians from birth to age four is expected to grow by 37.1 percent over the same 20-year period, and represents the prekindergarten children who must be readied for successful transition to formal school experiences. Table 2, following, provides data on how California's population growth will vary by age group within major racial or ethnic categories.

Table 2
Projected State Population, by Age, Race/Ethnicity

Source: Demographic Research Unit, Department of Finance 2000 Projection Series

Year Age Group State Total American Indian Asian/Pacific Islander Black Hispanic White
2000 0 to 4 2,782,020 13,691 320,394 184,998 1,322,962 939,975
5 to 19 7,942,190 42,966 926,294 592,080 3,133,499 3,247,351
20 to 44 12,990,451 79,728 1,563,922 920,024 4,209,432 6,217,345
45 to 64 7,226,013 49,615 829,446 456,558 1,484,537 4,405,857
65+ 3,712,721 19,770 359,371 184,275 538,322 2,610,983
Total 34,653,395 205,770 3,999,427 2,337,935 10,688,752 17,421,511
             
2010 0 to 4 3,108,932 14,566 401,102 196,653 1,595,521 901,090
5 to 19 9,122,727 44,870 1,199,038 590,309 4,271,811 3,016,699
20 to 44 13,213,830 80,414 1,893,383 894,595 4,718,548 5,626,890
45 to 64 9,956,439 65,725 1,280,505 628,494 2,586,601 5,395,114
65+ 4,555,688 31,750 539,722 230,449 791,569 2,962,198
Total 39,957,616 237,325 5,313,750 2,540,500 13,964,050 17,901,991
             
2020 0 to 4 3,814,656 15,532 478,639 219,018 2,149,408 952,059
5 to 19 9,900,916 48,108 1,375,999 608,467 5,063,836 2,804,506
20 to 44 14,903,106 84,039 2,244,702 984,573 5,882,413 5,707,379
45 to 64 10,466,559 69,076 1,533,686 646,843 3,385,530 4,831,424
65+ 6,363,390 49,504 841,127 347,497 1,297,305 3,827,957
Total 45,448,627 266,259 6,474,153 2,806,398 17,778,492 18,123,325
             
Change 2000 to 2020 0 to 4 37.1% 13.4% 49.4% 18.4% 62.5% 1.3%
5 to 19 24.7% 12.0% 48.5% 2.8% 61.6% -13.6%
20 to 44 14.7% 5.4% 43.5% 7.0% 39.7% -8.2%
45 to 64 44.8% 39.2% 84.9% 41.7% 128.1% 9.7%
65+ 71.4% 150.4% 134.1% 88.6% 141.0% 46.6%
Total 31.2% 29.4% 61.9% 20.0% 66.3% 4.0%

The California Postsecondary Education Commission, created in 1973 to engage in long-range planning for postsecondary education opportunities, among other functions, has calculated similar estimates of the demand for access to postsecondary education opportunities over the next decade. The commission estimates that, by the year 2010, nearly 714,000 more students than were enrolled in Fall 1998 will be seeking access to public colleges and universities within the state.

Finding ways to accommodate the large numbers of students estimated to be heading toward public schools, colleges, and universities will require both discipline and creative thinking. Existing physical plants will need to be maintained; where capacity still exists, current campuses must be expanded; new campuses will need to be built; and students must be encouraged to accelerate their progress in meeting educational objectives. Even with these steps, California's public schools, colleges, and universities will not be able to accommodate all who could benefit from teaching and learning opportunities, if all other General Fund expenditures are held constant. The State should use the combined resources of public and non-public education institutions to ensure learning opportunities for Californians. California has an outstanding array of private elementary and secondary schools, independent colleges and universities, and private postsecondary institutions; and they should all be encouraged to assist the State in meeting the teaching and learning needs of Californians of all ages.

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