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Public Schools

Public Schools

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Executive summary

The Public Schools industry includes traditional elementary (kindergarten through fifth grade), middle (sixth or seventh through eighth grade) and high schools (ninth through 12th grade), as well as both charter and magnet schools. Due to school districts' reliance on state and local government funding, industry revenue is directly affected by changes in tax revenue, which are affected by overall economic health. Government funding for primary and secondary education is estimated to grow at an annualized rate of 2.1% over the five years to 2022. Consequently, industry revenue is estimated to increase at an annualized rate of 1.6% to $866.8 billion over the five years to 2022, including a 1.3% increase in 2022 alone. Increased government funding has also benefited industry profitability during the five-year period.
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Each report includes:

industry revenue;

industry profit;

industry margin;

industry employment;

industry major players;

industry key external drivers;

industry product & structure segmentation;

industry key trends;

industry Life Cycle;

industry Geographic Breakdown;

industry Key Success Factors;

industry Key statistics for previous years;

forecast of industry Key statistics for the next 5 years;

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Reference Wordlist

High barriers to entry mean that new companies struggle to enter an industry, while low barriers mean it is easy for new companies to enter an industry.

Compares the amount of money spent on capital (plant, machinery and equipment) with that spent on labor.
IBISWorld uses the ratio of depreciation to wages as a proxy for capital intensity. High capital intensity is more than $ 0.333 of capital to $ 1 of labor; medium is $ 0.125 to $ 0.333 of capital to $ 1 of labor; low is less than $ 0.125 of capital for every $ 1 of labor.

The dollar figures in the Key Statistics table, including forecasts, are adjusted for inflation using the current year (i.e. year published) as the base year. This removes the impact of changes in the purchasing power of the dollar, leaving only the "real" growth or decline in industry metrics. The inflation adjustments in IBISWorld’s reports are made using the US Bureau of Economic Analysis’ implicit GDP price deflator.

Spending on industry goods and services within the United States, regardless of their country of origin. It is derived by adding imports to industry revenue, and then subtracting exports.

Colloquial Terminology

An independent public school designed by educators, parents, community leaders, educational entrepreneurs and others that want to provide quality education tailored to students' needs.

A school that focuses on a particular discipline, such as science, mathematics, the arts or computer science, and designed to recruit students from other parts of the school district.

Legislation signed into law by President Bush in 2002 that sets performance guidelines for all students and
stipulates what must be included in accountability reports to parents.

Local governments with powers similar to that of a town or a county, including taxation and eminent domain.


Public schools receive funding from state and local spending, which accounts for more than half of total government expenditure. Since state and local governments rely heavily on tax collections, rising per capita disposable income over the past five years has lifted their receipts significantly. Favorable economic conditions prior to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic contributed to the growth in per capita disposable income, which is estimated to rise at an annualized rate of 2.2% over the five years to 2022. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate had fallen prior to the pandemic, but subsequently spiked upon the onset of the pandemic. Despite rising income levels over the five years to 2022, the spike in unemployment likely reduced the total tax revenue that can be allocated toward public education, contributing to the slower industry revenue growth for the year. In 2022, however, the unemployment rate is expected to return near pre-pandemic levels, supporting recent revenue growth. Conversely, the prolonged federal budget deficit has placed negative pressure on public school operators, limiting their prospects to expand beyond current operations.

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