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Enrollment in DC’s Public Schools Shows a Decade of Continued Growth

Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Preliminary 2018-2019 School Year Numbers Show DC Public Schools saw a 2 Percent Gain, while Charter School Enrollment Increased by 1 Percent

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the number of students enrolled in public schools in the District of Columbia increased for the tenth consecutive year, reaching 92,994 students, according to preliminary data released by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). These unaudited numbers show a 1.6 percent increase overall in both sectors – or 1,457 additional students – over last school year. Specifically, DC Public Schools saw a 2 percent gain, while charter school enrollment increased by 1 percent over final, audited numbers released in February 2018.

“Families continue to choose our public schools because they see the tremendous gains we’ve made over the last decade, and they understand that we are committed to continuous improvement,” said Mayor Bowser. “Across the District, we are working together – my Administration, families, and educators – to ensure schools across all eight wards continue finding new and better ways to meet the needs of our students, their families and our community.”

This year’s unaudited enrollment figures show steady growth District-wide. Enrollment at DC Public Schools (DCPS) increased from 48,144 to 49,103 students, a 2 percent gain over final, audited numbers released in February 2018. Enrollment at DC’s public charter schools increased from 43,393 to 43,958 students, a 1 percent gain over final, audited numbers released in February 2018.

“Public schools across the District of Columbia are staffed by caring, supportive and talented educators who are providing students an excellent education and preparing them for the future,” said State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang. “As our schools continue to show gains on statewide assessments and as Mayor Bowser continues to challenge us to design and implement programming that excites and engages our young people, I am confident our enrollment will continue to grow.”

Public School Enrollment Since 2007

Year DCPS Charter State
SY2007-08 49,422 21,947 71,369
SY2008-09 45,190 25,729 70,919
SY2009-10 44,718 27,661 72,379
SY2010-11 45,631 29,366 74,997
SY2011-12 45,191 31,562 76,753
SY2012-13 45,557 34,673 80,230
SY2013-14 46,393 36,565 82,958
SY2014-15 47,548 37,684 85,403
SY2015-16 48,439 38,905 87,344
SY2016-17 48,555 41,506 90,061
SY2017-18 48,144 43,393 91,537
SY2018-19** 49,103 43,958 92,994*

To support the District’s growing student population, Mayor Bowser continues to make historic investments in education, including a $94 million increase in funding for the District of Columbia Public Schools and public charter schools in the fiscal year 2019 budget. This investment includes a 3.91 percent increase to the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula and a 2.2 percent increase in the charter schools facility allotment.

As the District’s state education agency, OSSE conducts an annual enrollment audit of public schools. The preliminary numbers above are based on a snapshot of data certified by local education agencies in October. This marks the beginning of an enrollment audit and certification process that takes several months and is conducted in collaboration with an independent auditor. Final, audited enrollment figures will be published by OSSE in early 2019.

* Note: State level enrollment subtotal does not equal DCPS + Charter totals due to student duplications. Duplications have been removed from the state level numbers, but may still exist at the sector level in these preliminary, unaudited figures.

**These figures represent preliminary data. Final audited enrollment figures will be published by OSSE in early 2019.