Enrollment declines in DC Public Schools as more opt for charter schools, home schooling

Enrollment in D.C. Public Schools declined by 855 students this year, while charter schools and home schooling saw increases in enrollment.

The decline follows what has happened nationwide as families opt for other educational options during the pandemic.

According to preliminary enrollment numbers released by the State Superintendent of Education, just over 49,035 students attend D.C. Public Schools. This is down from 49,890 students last year and a recent high of 51,037 students for the 2019-2020 school year.

Since that high, enrollment has steadily decreased by about 2% each year.

A release from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education said that early childhood education programs such as pre-K saw the largest decreases in enrollment.

Meanwhile the city’s charter schools continue to see more students enroll. The 123 schools saw 948 more students this year, a 2.16% increase. In D.C., 44,890 students are enrolled this year in charter schools.

After over a year of virtual learning during the pandemic, home schooling is becoming more popular among District parents. The Office of the State Superintendent of Education reported 959 students registered for home schooling programs for the 2021-22 school year. This is up from 602 students last school year.

More detailed enrollment number information will be released in early 2022.

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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