The number of students who enrolled in Iowa’s public schools for the 2011-12 school year decreased slightly from the year before, according to the official certified enrollment report released by the Iowa Department of Education.
A total of 473,213 students in kindergarten through 12th grade enrolled in public schools statewide. That represents a decrease of 0.06 percent, or 280 students, from the 2010-11 school year.
This is the 14th consecutive year that enrollment has declined in Iowa’s public schools. Enrollment peaked in the 1972-73 school year, with 645,000 students.
Of Iowa’s 351 school districts, 218 (62 percent) reported an enrollment decrease in the 2011-12 school year, while 129 districts (37 percent) reported an increase. Four Iowa districts reported no change from the 2010-11 school year.
Des Moines, Iowa City and Waukee reported the largest one-year number increases, while Waukee, Creston and Gilbert reported the largest one-year percentage increases.
Mason City has lost 64 students from last school year, and a total of 173 students over the last 5 years. Loss of students means less funding for the school district from outside sources, such as the state of Iowa.
Clear Lake gained 1 student from last school year but has lost 89 over the last five years.