The number of students enrolled in public and public charter schools in the District rose 5 percent this fall, to nearly 81,000 students, the highest level in more than a decade, according to a raw enrollment count that city officials plan to release Thursday.
The raw numbers are self-reported by schools and will now be audited by an independent accounting firm. They are likely to change somewhat, but they offer a strong indication of enrollment trends in the city: After losing students for decades, the District is gaining them again, and mostly in charter schools.
“Public schools as a whole are coming back,” said Scott Pearson, executive director of the D.C. Public Charter School Board. Pearson said it is not clear whether the increase is coming from private-school transfers or from families choosing to stay in the city rather than fleeing to the suburbs.
This is the fourth consecutive year of enrollment growth citywide.