Long-Term Growth in CA’s Public School Enrollment Masks Recent Declines

The take-home message from this accompanying graph of public school enrollment in California may seem to be the overall rise in California’s student population from 1994 to 2011. Last school year, California’s public schools enrolled 6.2 million students, which is about 1 million more students than in 1994. That’s an 18% increase.

At closer examination, however, the slight decrease from 2005 to 2011 is also a noteworthy trend. Across California, there were about 105,000 fewer students enrolled in public schools last school year than in 2005. And of 1013 school districts with both 2005 and 2011 data, more than half enrolled fewer students last school year than they did in 2005 (see data for your school district). 60% of counties experienced enrollment declines, too; rural counties were the hardest hit with enrollment declines.

In general, as school enrollment decreases, so does average daily attendance (ADA). Declines in ADA result in decreased per pupil funding from the state.

Some other noteworthy facts from the public school enrollment data recently updated on kidsdata.org:

  • According to 2011 data, more than half (55%) of California’s public school students are in five Southern Californian counties (Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino).
  • From 1994 to 2011, enrollment growth was particularly notable in two counties – Placer (74%) and Riverside (69%).


Posted by Andy Krackov

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 1st, 2011 at 9:46 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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