Declining births and lower demand: Charting the future of public school enrollment in D.C.

July 13, 2022
Featured Image
Photo/ DC Public Charter School Board. Used with permission.


Wednesday, July 13, 2022 
10:00-11:00 AM 

About the event 

After years of increases, enrollment growth in D.C.’s public schools (DCPS and public charter) has stagnated and in early grades even reversed. Between school years 2007-08 and 2019-20, D.C.’s public schools added an average of 1,598 students per year. In school years 2020-21 and 2021-22, enrollment increased by an average of just 29 students. In this report, we look at the two main drivers of enrollment growth:

  • Births in D.C.
  • Families’ preference to live in D.C. and choose its public schools.

This report examines how pre-pandemic trends in lower births and pandemic-induced changes in demand for living in D.C. and choosing its public schools have contributed to lower enrollment growth in D.C.’s public schools. Looking forward, we project how changes to these drivers will impact future student enrollment levels, which may remain close to pre-pandemic levels or lower instead of continuing to grow.  

On Wednesday, July 13 at 10:00 AM, join us for the launch of the report. D.C. Policy Center Executive Director Yesim Sayin and Education Policy Initiative Director Chelsea Coffin will hold a conversation on changes in enrollment trends and their implications for District planning. The conversation will be followed by an audience Q&A.  

Event recording