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Citywide enrollment growth is strong but disconnected from neighborhood change | The DC Line

August 28, 2019
  • D.C. Policy Center

On August 28, 2019, the D.C. Policy Center’s Chelsea Coffin authored a commentary published by The DC Line:

The 2019-20 school year will mark the 12th enrollment increase in a row for DC’s traditional public and public charter schools. This year, the city’s schools are expected to add 2,800 students to classes from pre-kindergarten to grade 12.

That enrollment growth, however, isn’t tied to neighborhood change even though that commonly occurs in other school districts across the country.

Four brand-new schools are opening this school year: Bard High School Early College DC in Ward 7, Ida B. Wells Middle School in Ward 4, Lee Montessori Public Charter School’s East End campus in Ward 8, and Mundo Verde Public Charter School’s 8th Street NE campus in Ward 5. In addition, Friendship Public Charter School and KIPP DC Public Charter School will open five new campuses, largely to serve students from charter schools that closed at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

The strong growth in public-school enrollment over the past decade is one of the many indicators that the District is becoming a popular place to live for families. Another indicator is the rate at which children and youth are increasingly attending DC public schools. Between 2010 and 2017, for each new school-age resident the city added to its population, public schools added about two new students (10,800 new K-12 students versus 5,100 new residents ages 5 to 17). As another sign of increased demand to live in the city, housing prices are on the rise: The assessment value of the average single-family home grew by $10 for every additional student enrolled during this same period.

Read more: Citywide enrollment growth is strong but disconnected from neighborhood change | The DC Line

Related: Will Children of Current Millennials Become Future Public School Students? | D.C. Policy Center


D.C. Policy Center

Established in 2016, the D.C. Policy Center is a non-partisan research and policy organization committed to advancing policies for a strong and vibrant economy in the District of Columbia. Through rigorous research and collaboration, the D.C. Policy Center develops and tests policy ideas, disseminates its findings, and engages in constructive dialogue and debate.

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