Early Enrollment Count Shows Loudoun Schools’ Growth Slowing

Loudoun schools’ preliminary head count for the year is in.

In all, 81,235 students showed up to local public schools during the first 10 days of school. That’s 816 more students than this time last year.

The School Board received the updated enrollment figures at its regular meeting Tuesday. The actual enrollment totals for this year are 1,054 students less than what Legislative and Planning Department projected. That breaks down to 735 fewer elementary students, 145 fewer middle school students, and 175 fewer high school students than expected.

Coming off of a few years of enrollment numbers exceeding school division planners’ projections, School Board members commended the department for conservative projections.

“I thought the projections were some of the best I’ve seen,” said Joy Maloney (Broad Run), who represents one of the fastest growing areas in the county.

She did point out one concern: the brand new Goshen Post Elementary School opened just three weeks ago with 1,131 students. That’s 218 more students than expected, and 171 students more than the building was designed to hold.

“What’s happening? It’s already at capacity level?” she said.

Kevin Lewis, assistant superintendent of Support Services, said his staff is going to look at that situation more closely when the official enrollment count is made on Sept. 30. “We’ll do a more in depth analysis and bring that back to the board.”

Sixty-seven of the county’s 91 public schools had fewer students than expected show up the first week of school. Stone Hill Middle School counted 1,378 students, 123 below the projections. Rock Ridge High School counted 2,048 in the first 10 days, 87 less than expected. John Champe High School had 80 fewer students than expected, and Park View High School had 81 fewer.

Twenty-two schools have so far seen higher than expected enrollment growth. Just behind Goshen Post, which saw the biggest discrepancy, Riverside High School welcomed 1,861 students—122 more than projected.

If the preliminary enrollment figures hold up in the official count on Sept. 30, it will be the smallest incremental growth Loudoun’s school system has seen in recent years by far. The division grew by 2,603 students from fall 2013 to 2014 (73,461); by 2,802 from fall 2014 to 2015 (76,263); by 2,738 from fall 2015 to 2016 (79,001); and by 2,555 from fall 2016 to 2017.

dnadler@loudounnow.com
twitter.com/danielle_nadler

One thought on “Early Enrollment Count Shows Loudoun Schools’ Growth Slowing

  • 2018-09-14 at 2:03 pm
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    This is extremely significant.

    1. This means that the BOS provided over $15M more funding than LCPS actually projected it would need in FY18-19 (1080 * $14.5K/yr/student). Will LCPS give that funding back to the taxpayers right away?

    2. So even WITHOUT ADDING A SINGLE ADDITIONAL penny, the BOS can simply provide the same funding to LCPS next year – FY19-20 – as they did for the current and “fully fund” the school system. The enrollment in FY19-20 will not be more than the current year + 1080 students. Will LCPS reduce their FY18-19 baseline before adding on “new requirements” for its FY19-20 budget request? Who’s holding their breath?

    3. LCPS is overflowing with cash. They couldn’t spend $41M in FY16-17. They used last year’s (FY17-18) huge excess funding to “prepay” the current year’s (FY18-19) costs. And now the BOS provided over $50M+ more than they need for the current year. Will LCPS disclose their “pre-payments” and lower the FY18-19 baseline by that amount in their FY19-20 budget request?

    4. Let’s recall “slush fund” Supervisor Matt Letourneau trying to throw even more $$ LCPS’ way in the spring of 2018. As the biggest RINO in Loudoun, Matt was trying to given even higher raises (beyond the 9% they received) to the spouses of his good friends on the school board, like Jeff Morse. Only Suzanne Volpe and other true responsible shepherds of taxpayer resources could constrain Slush Fund Matt, Chair Phyllis J. Randall and the rest of the tax-and-spend liberals on the BOS.

    5. It is becoming increasingly clear we will NOT need the massive and rapid build-out of schools as the enrollment growth slows. Will the BOS ask the school board to revise their plans and slow the construction of $100M+ schools?

    Basically, the taxpayers deserve transparency and honesty. But the BOS and LCSB generate more financial shenanigans than Enron ever could.

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