D.C. School Enrollment Climbs for First Time Since ’69
(Washington Examiner) — D.C. Public Schools’ enrollment grew 2 percent this year, the first time in 41 years that the troubled school system has increased its count. Mayor Vincent Gray announced Tuesday that 45,630 students enrolled in DCPS this year, up 912 pupils from 2009-2010. The official numbers, vetted by an auditing firm through the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, are higher than the school system’s rough projection in October of 46,515 students, or a 1.6 percent increase.
“The day will come when this [school system] has been substantially and significantly turned around,” Gray said. “Young people are moving into the city and staying in the city and clearly enrolling in our public schools.” For that last step, Gray credited the universal prekindergarten program that he pushed while chairman of the D.C. Council, citing sustained enrollment increases in the earliest grades. Pre-K jumped 17.1 percent for 3-year-olds and 5.4 percent for 4-year-olds, while kindergarten enrollment increased 12.2 percent. In grades one to three and six to 12, enrollment dropped slightly; grades four and five rose 0.7 percent.