Study Confirms DCPS Enrollment Decline
Audited enrollment figures quietly posted on Friday confirm that D.C. public schools suffered their steepest annual decline since the District started using an outside firm a decade ago to verify the student population.
Enrollment for the 2008-09 academic year stands at 45,190, down 8.5 percent from last year's 49,422. That figure has spiraled steadily downward, to 80,000 in 1980 and to 67,000 in 2000.
Public charter schools continue their upward trend, showing a more than 14 percent percent rise over last year, to 25,729 from 21,947. Charters now represent slightly more than 36 percent of the District's total public school enrollment.
It appeared initially that DCPS' drop would not be as steep. An Oct. 6 count showed 46,208 students in the system's 120 schools. But a subsequent review of student records by Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio and Associates, the audit firm retained by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), confirmed a larger drop.
The enrollment figures were posted Friday on the OSSE's website. The annual audited count is usually accompanied by an official announcement. But this year, none was made.
March 17, 2009; 11:07 AM ET
Categories: Bill Turque , Education
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