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Arlington Public Schools Pass All-Time Enrollment Record

According to the Arlington Sun Gazette's Scott McCaffrey today, "It may not be as high as school officials had projected, but Arlington’s student population has now overtaken the previous all-time record, set during the heart of the Baby Boom generation."

A few more details from his reporting include:

"Arlington Public Schools officials submitted an official 2017-18 count of 26,927 students to the Virginia Department of Education, based on the number of youngsters in class on Sept. 30.

"The official count was up 789 students – 3 percent – from a year before, and has now risen 27 percent since the 2010-11 school year.

"And it has now surpassed the previous record of 26,927 students in 1963.

"The official count, submitted annually to state officials by all of Virginia’s school districts, is “the basis for budget planning and planning for next year’s projections,” Superintendent Patrick Murphy said at the Oct. 5 School Board meeting.

"While now at a record high, the enrollment count was below what had been anticipated. “We had projected over 27,000,” Murphy said. The school system could still get there this year, as “we will ebb and flow throughout the year,” he said."

McCaffrey points out that compared to last year, "total enrollment was up 2.8 percent at the elementary-school level, 4 percent at the middle-school level and 2.6 percent at the high-school level,." Surprisingly, he wrote, "Arlington has a smaller percentage of households with school-age children, compared to surrounding jurisdictions."

He didn't mention, however, the cost of those additional 789 students. Using the FY 2017 cost-per-student of $18,957 from the most recent WABE Guide, the FY 2018 cost won't be available until later this month, the additional 789 student will cost Arlington County taxpayers almost $15 million.

Will the Arlington School Board direct the Superintendent to take immediate steps to find $15 million in cost savings to pay for the additional students? We doubt it. Growls readers with questions or comments about the year-to-year growth in enrollment can direct them to the Arlington School Board. Just click-on the link below:

  • Call the School Board office at (703) 228-6015

And tell them ACTA sent you.


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