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Public School Enrollment in the District of Columbia Increases for Eighth Consecutive Year

Monday, March 6, 2017

Media Contact: Fred Lewis (202) 412-2167; [email protected]

Public school enrollment in the District of Columbia has continued its upward trend with enrollment increasing for the eighth consecutive year, State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang said today in releasing audited enrollment numbers for the 2016-17 school year. The increase of about 3 percent over the 2015-16 school year, with enrollment gains in both public and public charter schools, reflects District families’ continued confidence in the city’s public schools and efforts to improve the quality of education in the District since 2007.

Audited enrollment numbers for the 2016-17 school year show a 3.01 percent increase over the 2015-16 school year counts with the statewide enrollment total growing from 87,344 in 2015-16 to 90,061 in the 2016-17 school year.

Enrollment in District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) increased from 48,439 in 2015-16 to 48,555 in 2016-17, while enrollment in the District’s public charter schools increased from 38,905 to 41,506.

"District families recognize the substantial investments we have made in public education and the improvements our schools have made as a result,” said Mayor Muriel E. Bowser. “More and more families want to be part of the positive, sustained growth we are seeing as a District and show their confidence in the quality of education we provide by enrolling their children in our schools. I look forward to continued growth as we seek to make further improvements.”

“Our schools continue to attract greater numbers of District families seeking a high-quality education,” State Superintendent Hanseul Kang said. “Our teachers, school leaders and support staff are doing amazing work in meeting the needs of all students and improving academic results. This eight-year upward trend is testament to the great things happening in our schools.”

The District’s audited enrollment numbers released today mirror unaudited enrollment numbers recorded during a student headcount taken Oct. 5, 2016, which reflected a statewide student enrollment increase of more than 3 percent.

Background on the District’s Audit of Student Enrollment

As the state education agency, OSSE is responsible for contracting with an independent auditor to conduct an annual audit of the student enrollment data submitted by local education agencies (LEAs) in the District. Prior to the audit, school-based staff are trained in the annual enrollment audit process, including documentation required for families to enroll their children in school.

In the first week of October, auditors contracted by OSSE launch an annual headcount of students, which includes physically counting each student present in every public school in the District. The headcount, which began Oct. 5, 2016, for the 2016-17 school year, also includes a review of student enrollment documentation submitted by LEAs. In the months that follow the headcount, LEAs resolve any anomalies found in enrollment documents and are offered the opportunity to appeal the results of the audit as they relate to their schools. Once documents are resolved and appeals exhausted, OSSE releases final, official enrollment numbers to LEAs.   

For additional resources regarding the District of Columbia 2016-17 school year student enrollment audit, and information from past enrollment audits, visit the OSSE website at osse.dc.gov.