Enrollment in D.C. public schools continues to climb, especially in the charter schools, according to unaudited numbers from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.
The number of students in D.C. schools reached nearly 90,500 this school year, up 3 percent from the previous year.
The city’s charter schools saw their largest overall increase in enrollment since the 2012-2013 school year. This school year, 41,677 students enrolled in charter schools, a 7 percent increase from a year ago, bringing total charter school enrollment to 46 percent of the city’s public school enrollment. Officials with the Public Charter School Board, which oversees all of the District’s charter schools, declined to comment.
D.C. Public Schools, the traditional school system, saw its smallest increase since 2012-2013, with just 338 additional students enrolling in the system’s schools. That’s a gain of less than 1 percent from the previous school year, putting the school system’s total enrollment at 48,777.
Michelle Lerner, a spokeswoman for the school system, said it expects to reach its goal of enrolling 50,000 by the end of the school year after “students transfer from other schools.” The system regularly sees a significant number of transfers after the school year starts.
“We are delighted that parents are continuing to choose DCPS for their students,” Lerner said.
The overall uptick represents the eighth consecutive year of growth in the public schools after decades of declines. The numbers are likely to change when audited figures are released early next year, but they are a strong indication of enrollment trends in the city.
“The increase in enrollment numbers is more proof that District families are more confident than ever that our youth are being provided a quality public education,” said Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D). “I am extremely proud of the work that our schools are doing to ensure that our residents have top-notch public school choices.”
Audited enrollment figures are slated to be published in early 2017.