Tuesday, November 30, 2021
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, the Bowser Administration announced that the number of students enrolled in public schools in Washington, DC in the 2021-22 school year increased slightly compared to 2020-21 enrollment, with 93,843 students enrolled in District public and public charter schools according to preliminary data released by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). These unaudited numbers show a less than 1% increase overall across DC – or 11 more students – compared to last school year’s count.
Enrollment at DC Public Schools (DCPS) saw a second year of enrollment declines from 49,890 students in the 2020-21 school year to 49,035 students in the 2021-22 school year, a 1.71% decrease compared to final, audited numbers released in early 2021. Enrollment at DC’s public charter schools saw a second year of increases, from 43,942 students in the 2020-21 school year to 44,890 students in the 2021-22 school year, a 2.16% increase over final, audited numbers for last school year released in early 2021.
While early childhood education programs saw decreases, the number of students in homeschooling programs approved by OSSE increased in the 2021-22 school year, compared to 2020-21. OSSE reports a preliminary number of 959 students registered for home schooling in 2021-22, compared to 602 in the previous year. All families of compulsory aged students who wish to home school must register with OSSE and meet certain standards by submitting an application, which OSSE reviews and approves. OSSE will report final home school numbers along with the final enrollment audit numbers in early 2022.
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. The chart below tracks enrollment trends since 2007 with preliminary unaudited numbers for the 2020-21 school year. Final, audited enrollment figures will be published by OSSE in early 2022.
*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 2022.