Feature Article - June 2020
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Trends in Schools & School Districts

A Look at Trends in Schools & School District


Here, we'll take a look at trends reported by respondents to the Industry Report Survey who represent schools and school districts—making up 10.5% of all respondents.

Nearly half (47.8%) of school respondents were from the Midwest, dwarfing the responses from other regions of the country. Some 15.4% were from the Northeast, 14.7% were from the South Central region, 13.2% were from the West, and 8.1% were from the South Atlantic states. Another 0.7% of school respondents were located outside the United States.

School respondents were far more likely to be located in rural areas than in urban or suburban areas. Well over half (56.9%) of school respondents said they were located in rural communities. This compares with 32.8% of non-school respondents. Another 32.1% of school respondents said they were from suburban communities, and 10.9% were from urban communities.

The vast majority of schools covered by the survey were public. Some 92.7% of school respondents said they were with public schools. Another 4.4% said they were with private nonprofit schools, and 2.9% were with private for-profit schools.

School respondents reached the smallest number of people, serving an average of 30,080 people, down from 36,160 in 2019. More than three-quarters (77.4%) of school respondents said they reach a population of 20,000 or fewer, compared with 39.9% of non-school respondents. On the other hand, just 5.1% of school respondents said they reach a population of 100,000 or more, compared with 25.9% of non-school respondents.

On average, school respondents said they manage 7.6 facilities, down from an average of 8.7 in 2019. Some 41.9% of school respondents said they manage between one and three facilities, and 40.4% manage between four and nine. Another 17.6% said they manage 10 or more different facilities.

School respondents were slightly less likely than non-school respondents to report that they have partnered with outside organizations. Some 86.8% of school respondents said they had formed such partnerships (up from 85.9% in 2019), compared with 89.2% of non-school respondents. The most common partners for school respondents were: other local schools (67.2% of school respondents said they had partnered with other schools); local government (57.7%); state government (46%); federal government (25.5%); and nonprofit organizations (24.8%).

School respondents were far more likely than non-school respondents to report that the primary audience their facilities reach was made up of teenagers. Some 51.8% of school respondents said teens are their primary audience, compared with just 3.1% of non-school respondents. Another 26.3% of school respondents said they primarily reach all ages, while 13.1% said their audience is primarily made up of children ages 4 to 12. Another 8% said adults are their main audience, and 0.7% said their primary audience is infants and toddlers.