Iowa school enrollment climbs but some local districts drop

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Despite a significant jump in enrollment in Iowa public schools statewide, some local districts saw enrollment numbers drop.

The Iowa Department of Education reports Iowa public schools have seen their first significant enrollment increase in 17 years, although overall enrollment has dropped over the past five years.   

About half of the state’s 348 school districts reported a year-to-year enrollment increase for the 2012-2013 school year.  The other half reported a decrease in enrollment.

Davenport and Clinton school districts are among those that have seen enrollment decline in the past five years.  Davenport has lost 262 students since the 2008-2009 school year and enrollment in Clinton schools dropped by 286 students in that same time period.   Davenport Schools reported losing 191 students this year compared to last.  Clinton enrollment dropped by 90. 

Bettendorf Schools reported also reported a drop, losing 56 students in comparison to last year.

Cedar Rapids enrollment dropped by 127 students and Council Bluffs lost 88 students this year.

Camanche, Durant, Louisa-Muscatine, Maquoketa, Mediapolis, Muscatine and North Scott school districts were among those that also saw enrollment numbers fall this year.

Bucking that trend, Pleasant Valley schools in Bettendorf have seen an 18% increase in enrollment over the past five years.  An additional 270 students enrolled at schools in the Pleasant Valley district this year compared to last year.  Burlington Schools enrollment grew by 103 students this year.

Big gains also happened in Waukee which grew by 610 students from year to year, Ankeny which added 423 students this year and Iowa city where 321 more students enrolled this year.

State education officials credit some of the increase to an upsurge in birth rates that rose steadily between 2003 and 2008 with a spike in 2007.

Read the full report of year-to-year enrollment changes in Iowa schools – click here.

Read the full report of five-year enrollment changes in Iowa schools – click here.