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Mayor Bowser Highlights Continued Growth in Public School Enrollment

Thursday, October 26, 2023
2023-24 Preliminary Total is Highest Ever; Increases in Both DCPS and Public Charter School Enrollment

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) announced that total enrollment in public schools across the District of Columbia has increased for the second consecutive year, with both DC Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter schools seeing the highest enrollment totals since OSSE began compiling public school enrollment data in 2007. Preliminary, unaudited numbers show enrollment for the 2023-24 school year increased to 98,663 students, an increase of 2,120 students, or 2.2 percent, from the 2022-23 school year. 
“When families enroll and re-enroll in our public schools, that is a reflection of their confidence in our teachers, principals, and school communities,” said Mayor Bowser. “And that confidence is well-deserved. DC taxpayers have made big investments in our schools, and those investments are evident every time you walk into our public schools and see children who are loved and challenged. We have the best teachers in the nation, tremendous facilities, and a commitment to always innovating and finding new ways to support our students.” 

According to data compiled by OSSE, total preliminary enrollment expanded by 2.2 percent Districtwide. As part of this increase, DCPS recorded a 2.45 percent increase—a total of 1,245 students—while public charter schools saw a gain of 2.08 percent—a total of 977 students. Overall, public and public charter school enrollment in the District has increased by 18.9 percent in the last decade.

“In all eight wards, students and families have access to amazing schools that provide them with challenging academic experiences, caring environments and opportunities to participate in enriching activities and programs,” said State Superintendent Dr. Christina Grant. “A second year of public school enrollment increases is heartening progress as we continue to move through recovery towards restoration in the District of Columbia.”
As the District’s state education agency, OSSE conducts an annual enrollment audit of public schools. The preliminary numbers below are based on a snapshot of data certified by local education agencies in October 2023. 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 2023-24 school year. Final, audited enrollment figures will be published by OSSE in early 2024.

Preliminary Enrollment Numbers for School Year 23-24 and Public School Enrollment Since 2007

School Year DCPS Charter State*
2023-24** 51,376 47,369 98,663
2022-23 50,131 46,392 96,543
2021-22 49,035 44,899 93,934
2020-21 49,890 43,942 93,832
2019-20 51,037 43,518 94,555
2018-19 49,056 43,960 93,016
2017-18 48,144 43,393 91,537
2016-17 48,555 41,506 90,061
2015-16 48,439 38,905 87,344
2014-15 47,548 37,684 85,403
2013-14 46,393 36,565 82,958
2012-13 45,557 34,673 80,230
2011-12 45,191 31,562 76,753
2010-11 45,631 29,366 74,997
2009-10 44,718 27,661 72,379
2008-09 45,190 25,729 70,919
2007-08 49,422 21,947 71,369

*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.  Students enrolled in non-public placements (n=487) are not included in the counts above. 

**These figures represent preliminary data. Final audited enrollment figures will be published by OSSE in early 2024.
Visit OSSE’s website for more enrollment data and information about the annual enrollment audit.

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