Statewide enrollment climbs for the first time since 1996

2012-13 enrollment report shows one-year increase; 5-year trend shows decline

 DES MOINES, IA – The number of students who enrolled in Iowa’s public schools for the 2012-13 school year increased significantly from the year before, according to the official certified enrollment report released today by the Iowa Department of Education.

This is the first significant enrollment increase for Iowa’s public schools in 17 years, although overall enrollment has declined over the past five years. Enrollment peaked in the 1972-73 school year, with 645,000 students.

A total of 476,245 students in kindergarten through 12th grade enrolled in public schools statewide in the 2012-13 school year. That represents an increase of 0.6 percent, or 2,741 students, from the 2011-12 school year.

The statewide enrollment increase is due in part to an upsurge in birth rates from 2003 to 2008. Birth rates spiked in 2007 but have decreased in recent years.  “This statewide increase is refreshing news for Iowa after years of declining enrollment. However, the reality is that this increase most likely is temporary,” said Jay Pennington, chief of the Iowa Department of Education’s Bureau of Information and Analysis.  “We see pockets of enrollment growth in the urban and suburban areas of the state, while the long-term trends show rural areas continue to experience declining enrollment,” Pennington said.

About half of Iowa’s 348 school districts reported an enrollment increase, while the other half reported a decrease in enrollment from the year before.   Specifically, enrollment declined in 167 school districts (48 percent) in the 2012-13 school year, while enrollment climbed in 170 districts (49 percent).  Eleven districts reported no change in enrollment figures from the 2011-12 school year.

Waukee, Des Moines and Ankeny reported the largest one-year enrollment number increases, while West Sioux, Moulton-Udell and Waukee reported the largest one-year percentage increases (see charts below).

In the past five years, public school enrollment statewide has declined by 0.16 percent (from 477,019 students in 2008-09 to 476,245 in 2012-13). Of Iowa’s 348 school districts, 233 (67 percent) reported an enrollment decrease during that five-year period, while 115 districts (33 percent) reported an increase.

One-Year Trend – Increase of Students – Percent*

School District

2011-12 Enrollment

2012-13 Enrollment

Percent Increase

WEST SIOUX

670

738

10%

MOULTON-UDELL

206

224

9%

WAUKEE

7,111

7,721

9%

DALLAS CENTER-GRIMES

1,982

2,140

8%

POSTVILLE

565

608

* Excludes reorganized districts and districts in whole-grade sharing agreements

One Year Trend – Increase of Students – Numbers*

School District

2011-12

Enrollment

2012-13

Enrollment

Student Increase

WAUKEE

7,111

7,721

610

DES MOINES

31,546

32,062

516

ANKENY

8,964

9,386

422

IOWA CITY

12,453

12,774

321

PLEASANT VALLEY

3,960

4,230

270

* Excludes reorganized districts and districts in whole-grade sharing agreements

Under state law, certified enrollment is used in the formula that determines state funding for public school districts. Certified enrollment is based on the number of students living in each school district. It also includes the “weighting,” or additional funding for students in certain programs, such as students who receive assistance in learning the English language.  The certified enrollment count is taken by districts on the first day of October each school year. Official numbers are confirmed by the Iowa Department of Education.

Iowa school districts that reported the largest increases or decreases in the percentage and/or number of students over the past five years are:

Five-Year Trend – Increase of Students – Percent*

School District

2008-09 Enrollment

2012-13 Enrollment

Percent Increase

WAUKEE

5,967

7,721

29%

BONDURANT-FARRAR

1,213

1,467

21%

ROCK VALLEY

570

688

21%

ANKENY

7,948

9,386

18%

PLEASANT VALLEY

3,589

4,230

18%

* Excludes reorganized districts and districts in whole-grade sharing agreements

Five-Year Trend – Increase of Students – Numbers*

School District

2008-09

Enrollment

2012-13

Enrollment

Student Increase

WAUKEE

5,967

7,721

1,754

ANKENY

7,948

9,386

1,438

DES MOINES

30,783

32,062

1,279

IOWA CITY

11,749

12,774

1,025

PLEASANT VALLEY

3,589

4,230

641

* Excludes reorganized districts and districts in whole-grade sharing agreements

Five-Year Trend – Decrease of Students – Percent

School District

2008-09 Enrollment

2012-13 Enrollment

Percent Decrease

STRATFORD

213

160

-25%

FOREST CITY

1,243

995

-20%

FARRAGUT

263

211

-20%

VENTURA

284

228

-20%

EXIRA

276

223

-19%

Five-Year Trend – Decrease of Students – Numbers

School District

2008-09 Enrollment

2012-13 Enrollment

Student Decrease

CEDAR RAPIDS

17,502

16,651

-851

CLINTON

4,252

3,966

-286

COUNCIL BLUFFS

9,212

8,945

-267

DAVENPORT

16,202

15,940

-262

NEWTON

3,267

3,006

-261

Read the 2012-13 certified enrollment summary here.

Certified enrollment trends for each Iowa school district can be found here:

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