(WASHINGTON, DC) – Student enrollment in the District of Columbia’s public schools increased 5 percent for the 2012-2013 school year, according to final audited data released today by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). The final results indicate an overall increase from 76,753 last year to 80,230 students enrolled statewide this year, and represent both DC Public Schools (DCPS) and DC Public Charter Schools (PCS).
The School Year 2012-2013 enrollment audit marked a rate of increase in student enrollment that the District has not seen in over 40 years and a return to an overall enrollment level last seen 20 years ago. Recent enrollment growth rates in the District are listed below:
• 2 percent increase in 2009-10;
• 4 percent increase in 2010-11;
• 2 percent increase in 2011-12; and a
• 5 percent increase in 2012-13.
This year, DCPS’ enrollment increased by 1 percent, from 45,191 to 45,557 (366 students), and PCS’ enrollment increased by 10 percent, from 31,562 to 34,673 (3,111 students).
“For the fourth year in a row, parents are voting with their feet and choosing to place their confidence in District schools,” said Mayor Vincent C. Gray. “As we commit to improving educational opportunities for all students in our city, I hope that the numbers will continue to rise.”
“This year marks the largest increase in District’s public schools in over 40 years,” added State Superintendent of Education Hosanna Mahaley Jones, commenting on the completion of the official audit. “The faith and trust that parents and community members are showing in our public schools reflect the hard work, compassion and steady drive for improvement found in our educational community.”
The Superintendent also noted that OSSE held working sessions with Local Education Agency (LEA) staffs and initiated its enrollment-audit process two months earlier than the previous year to develop an enrollment-audit handbook and promote higher levels of transparency. “We have completely retooled and improved the enrollment-audit process for the District, and our education professionals are creating a direct line for students, which begins with Pre-K education and ends with an improved standard of living for DC residents and families alike,” she said.
In addition to providing interactive trainings on how to efficiently administer an enrollment audit and effectively submit student census data, OSSE also introduced new processes to mitigate and resolve enrollment-data discrepancies while meeting agency deadlines, including a new tool allowing LEAs access to each school’s daily enrollment status.
OSSE has contracted with F.S. Taylor & Associates (FSTA) to conduct the District’s general-education-enrollment audit this year. FSTA is a full-service accounting firm providing professional accounting, auditing, and advisory services in the District since 1980.