By George Kevin Jordan, AFRO Staff Writer
The mayor’s office announced that there was an increase in enrollment in D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) for the tenth consecutive year. The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) offered audited enrollment numbers that show a 1.6 percent increase in enrolled students, or 1,479 additional students, culminating in 93,016 students during the 2018-2019 school year.
“Enrollment in our public schools continues to grow because each year we have continued to expand access to high-quality schools and programming for families across all eight wards,” said Mayor Bowser in a statement. “We’ve made big investments in our schools, students, and educators, and those investments are paying off. This process has never been a sprint, but a decade-long commitment to building trust, increasing accountability and working together as a community to set more young people up for success. We have made tremendous progress and now the work to build on our success and expand opportunity for our students continues.”
The increase in numbers takes into account both DCPS and D.C. public charter schools. Enrollment in DCPS increased from 48,144 to 49,056 students, a two percent increase over the previous school year, while D.C.’s public charter schools enrollment increased from 43,393 to 43,960 students, a one percent increase over the previous school year.
“It’s encouraging to watch our enrollment numbers increase year after year – it’s a testament to our students’ and families’ growing confidence in our public schools across the city,” said State Superintendent Hanseul Kang in a statement. “Our strategic investments are paying off and as more students continue to enter our schools, we will work to ensure they are receiving a high quality education.”
This increase may coincide with the hefty investment that was earmarked in the District’s budget for education. According to highlights from the FY 2019 budget. A $94 million increase was set aside for DCPS, and D.C. public charter schools which includes:
- $12.5 million in investments to make early child care more affordable for all District residents
- $2.5 million to fund early learning tax credits and
- $10 million to increase District payments to local childcare providers to ensure that they stay open and can create new child care slots for our infants and toddlers.
- New this year, is $4.4 million in “Targeted Stabilization” funding that provides support to 20 DCPS schools that would have otherwise experienced a reduction in funding from a loss in enrollment and/or a shift in programming at these schools.
Additionally, the District has committed to $1.3 billion allocated to continued school modernizations- reaching an additional 31 schools over the next six years.
The funds for education are just part of the overall $14.5 billion in programs and services that give residents a “Fair Shot,” according to the mayor’s office.
For more information on the the Mayor’s financial commitment to the District’s education click the Education Highlights information on mayor.dc.gov. For more information on enrollment figures please go to the OSSE website at osse.dc.gov.