Charter schools in the nation's capital have seen their first drop in enrollment since 1996.
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education released preliminary data Tuesday that shows the charter sector lost 404 students this academic year, lowering enrollment to about 43,556. The Washington Post reports the sector has more than 100 schools, though four school campuses are not reopening due to finances or poor academic performance.
Meanwhile, the district's traditional public school system saw a 4% increase in enrollment, surpassing 50,000 students for the first time since 2006. The sectors together saw an overall a 1.7% enrollment increase.
“The continued growth at our public schools is proof that if we listen to and work with the community, meet the needs of our students, and build the programming and the facilities that our students need and deserve – then families will come,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement.
Charter enrollment may increase next year, with the charter board approving five new schools and two existing charter schools having just opened second campuses set for expansion.