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Mayor Bowser Announces 11 Years of Continued Enrollment Growth for DCPS and Public Charter Schools

Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Preliminary 2019-20 School Year Enrollment Numbers Show 4% Growth at DCPS
Mayor Bowser and public school officials

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the number of students enrolled in public schools in Washington, DC increased for the 11th consecutive year, reaching 94,603, with DC Public Schools (DCPS) exceeding 50,000 students for the first time since 2006, according to preliminary data released by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). These unaudited numbers show a 1.7% increase overall across DC – or 1,587 additional students – over last school year.

“The continued growth at our public schools is proof that if we listen to and work with the community, meet the needs of our students, and build the programming and the facilities that our students need and deserve – then families will come,” said Mayor Bowser. “We’re going to keep investing in our students and teachers to improve the quality of education and keep DCPS and our public charter schools growing for another decade to come.”

Enrollment at DCPS increased from 49,056 students in the 2018-19 School Year to 51,060 students in the 2019-20 School Year, a 4% gain over final, audited numbers released in February 2019. Enrollment at DC’s public charter schools decreased from 43,960 students in the 2018-19 School Year to 43,556 students in the 2019-20 School Year, less than a 1% decrease over final, audited numbers for last school year released in February 2019.

“The enrollment gains we are seeing year after year are a testament to the hard work of talented and dedicated educators and leaders in classrooms and schools throughout the District,” said State Superintendent Hanseul Kang. “We are excited about the continued progress we are making in improving student outcomes across the District, and that more families are choosing to enroll in our schools.”

Public School Enrollment Since 2007

Year DCPS Charter State*
SY2019-20** 51,060 43,556 94,603*
SY2018-19 49,056 43,960 93,016
SY2017-18 48,144 43,393 91,537
SY2016-17 48,555 41,506 90,061
SY2015-16 48,439 38,905 87,344
SY2014-15 47,548 37,684 85,403
SY2013-14 46,393 36,565 82,958
SY2012-13 45,557 34,673 80,230
SY2011-12 45,191 31,562 76,753
SY2010-11 45,631 29,366 74,997
SY2009-10 44,718 27,661 72,379
SY2008-09 45,190 25,729 70,919
SY2007-08 49,422 21,947 71,369

To support the District’s growing student population, Mayor Bowser continues to make historic investments in education, including $52 million to expand child care and early childhood education opportunities at three former schools – Old Randle Highlands, Old Miner, and Thurgood Marshall.

Mayor Bower’s education investments include a $70.1 million increase in funding for the DCPS and public charter schools, including a 3% increase to the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula. The Mayor’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget included $4.6 million to provide a laptop or device for every DCPS student in grades 3, 6, and 9 – an initiative that is rolling out throughout the school year. Additionally, the budget included $1.6 million to establish Connected Schools in DCPS to serve as neighborhood hubs by providing wraparound services for students and families.

As the District’s state education agency, OSSE conducts an annual enrollment audit of public schools. The preliminary numbers above are based on a snapshot of data certified by local education agencies in October. This marks the beginning of an enrollment audit and certification process that takes several months and is conducted in collaboration with an independent auditor. Final, audited enrollment figures will be published by OSSE in early 2020.

* Note: State level enrollment subtotal does not equal DCPS + Charter totals due to student duplications. Duplications have been removed from the state level numbers, but may still exist at the sector level in these preliminary, unaudited figures.

**These figures represent preliminary data. Final audited enrollment figures will be published by OSSE in early 2020.