Selected readings on US charter schools
The superintendent’s report also notes that the share of ethnic minority students rose to 23.5 percent statewide.
Utah’s charter schools continue to add students at a faster clip than do traditional schools, contributing to an overall increase of nearly 2 percent — 11,566 students — in public-school enrollment this year.
Utah now has 612,551 public school students, Superintendent of Schools Martell Menlove reported Friday to the Board of Education.
Charter school enrollment rose by 8 percent — slower than last year’s 13.2 percent pace of growth — to 54,900. Nearly 9 percent of public school students now attend charters, which are run independently of districts.
For the first time in years, Menlove said, enrollment in kindergarten is lower this year than last, signaling possible slower growth in total student populations in the years to come.
“I don’t know if that’s the beginning of a trend,” he said.
The state’s 10 largest districts remained the same, although the order shuffled a bit. Nebo District surpassed Weber District to become the sixth largest. Alpine remained the largest, with 72,419 students, followed by Davis, Granite, Jordan and Canyons.
Jordan District, where voters this week rejected a $495 million bond, was the fastest-growing district in the Salt Lake Valley, even though its growth was slower than the state average, at 1.6 percent.
A district study last summer projected enrollment growth of 12,000 in the next decade. However, growth this year is already slower than projected, with an added 812 students pushing enrollment to 52,855. Jordan had expected 2,000 more students.
Janice Voorhies, secretary of the Jordan school board, said this week that the board will rely heavily on new community-wide committees to sort through the options in the wake of the bond’s failure.
However, the district has already taken many of the least wrenching steps — putting children in portable classrooms and going to year-round school, she said.
About 22 percent of Granite students are from low-income homes.
Source: Salt Lake Tribune – by Kristen Moulton