Enrollment in the Detroit Public Schools is down slightly from last year—but the district is calling that a victory after years of double-digit enrollment declines.
According to unofficial data released Tuesday, the district counts 47,238 students across its 97 schools.
That’s down 3.4% from the prior year. But district spokesman Steve Wasko said it beat the district’s own budget targets, as well as demographer’s projections.
And despite a “highly competitive education marketplace in and around the city of Detroit,” along with a shrinking number of school-age children, DPS enrollment is now “declining at a declining rate,” Wasko says.
“For the past 20 years, consistent [year-on-year] loss across Detroit Public Schools has been 10% or greater…in some cases even 20% or 25,” Wasko says. “The declines both last year and this year are sharply down from that.”
District officials credit a number of “strategic initiatives,” and say “program enhancements” have helped boost enrollment at some schools.