Yesterday the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) released the unaudited student enrollment figures for both DCPS and charters. Amazingly charters demonstrated a 6.2% increase over last year's count with a total of 36,823 pupils compared to 34,674 for the 2012 to 2013 term. DCPS also demonstrated an increase, with 2% more students attending this system. The total is now 46,515 compared to 45,557 last year.
Both DCPS and charters are benefiting from a growing number of students entering public school in the nation’s capital. OSEE published the following figures:
Term 2009 to 2010 2% increase
Term 2010 to 2011 4% increase
Term 2011 to 2012 2% increase
Term 2012 to 2013 5% increase
Term 2013 to 2014 4% increase – unaudited
It is extremely interesting to find which charter schools contributed most to the increase in students attending this sector. The Public Charter School Board pointed out that pre-school enrollment improved by 7.5%, or 440 students, over the previous year. In addition, adult education programs attracted 1,036 more students, a 37.4% gain from last term. Remember that Carlos Rosario International PCS opened their new 50,000 square foot Sonia Gutierrez Campus in September.
It also appears that the Performance Management Framework is having the intended effect of driving parental school choice. The PCSB revealed that 2,266 have selected Tier 1 schools this term compared to the 2011 to 2012 school year, the first time PMF results were made public. Simultaneously, 1,120 fewer kids are attending Tier 3 schools.
The news means that charters are continuing their stubborn steady march toward enrollment equity with DCPS.