(Washington, DC) – The District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) reported today that for the fifth consecutive year, student enrollment in the District of Columbia’s public schools has increased. According to preliminary, unaudited data released today by OSSE, enrollment for the DC Public Schools (DCPS) and DC Public Charter Schools (PCS) increased by 3.9 percent for the 2013-2014 School Year (SY), as compared to the prior school year. These unaudited results show that DCPS and PCS combined for an overall increase of 3,108 students, pushing total statewide student enrollment to 83,339 students, up from 80,231 students.
These preliminary findings show a slightly more than 2 percent increase for DCPS, from 45,557 to 46,516 (959 students), and an increase of 6.2 percent in enrollment for PCS, from 34,674 to 36,823 (2,149 students).
“Student enrollment has been on an upward trajectory for five consecutive years. This trend is continued proof that the public school system in the District of Columbia is making solid strides towards improving academic achievement and that the District is great place for young families,” said Mayor Vincent C. Gray. “This gain in student enrollment is similar to the increase we witnessed last year, and I’m proud of the progress being made in our traditional public and public charter schools.”
“While we need to emphasize that these are preliminary numbers, they are a positive indicator of the impact of our reform efforts,” added Acting State Superintendent Jesús Aguirre. “The trend shows that families continue to choose to enroll their children in the District’s public schools, and we must stay the course in our effort to provide absolutely the best public education for our children.”
As the State Education Agency (SEA), OSSE is responsible for conducting an annual audit of the student enrollment data submitted by the Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in the District. DCPS is the largest LEA in the District, and each charter school is also considered an LEA. Over the last two years, OSSE has refined the enrollment audit process to ensure accuracy and better support our schools in this process. OSSE has implemented new mitigation and resolution procedures for data discrepancies, added a new tool that allows LEAs access to each school’s daily enrollment status, provided interactive trainings to LEAs to support accurate submission of student census data, and engaged stakeholders to improve the audit structure and procedures.
The District continues to see increases in its statewide public school enrollment. Audited numbers for the previous school year showed a rate of increase not seen in the District in over 40 years, and a return to an overall enrollment level that was last seen 21 years ago.
Recent enrollment growth rates in the District are listed below:
- 2 percent increase in 2009 – 2010
- 4 percent increase in 2010 – 2011
- 2 percent increase in 2011 – 2012
- 5 percent increase in 2012 – 2013
- Approximately 4 percent increase in 2013 – 2014 (Unaudited)
For the current school year, OSSE contracted with F.S. Taylor & Associates (FSTA) to conduct the general education enrollment audit for the District of Columbia. FSTA is a full-service accounting firm providing professional accounting, auditing, and advisory services in the District of Columbia since 1980. OSSE will publish the audited enrollment numbers after this year’s audit is complete in February 2014.
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