Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Utah schools grow but increase is less than projected

Statewide, enrollment in districts and charter schools grew by nearly 2 percent or 11,500 students this year over last, coming in below projected estimates that enrollment could increase by more than 14,700 students. According to the new numbers, 587,745 students now fill Utah’s public school classrooms.

Of all the districts in the state, Alpine saw the biggest enrollment leap. Much of the increase in Alpine is a result of growth in a number of its communities, including Saratoga Springs, Eagle Mountain and Lehi. Over the past 10 years, Alpine has built 19 new schools, and plans to build another six in coming years, thanks to a $210 million bond voters approved last month. Alpine now has 79 schools.

The Davis district grew by 1,665 students this school year. And Jordan, Washington, Provo, and Nebo districts saw significant increases as well, among others. But charter schools, as a group, experienced the largest growth. Enrollment at Utah’s 78 charter schools swelled to 44,892 students, an increase of 4,760 bodies, meaning about 7.6 percent of all public school students now attend charter schools, up from about 7 percent last year. Charter schools are independently run public schools. Salt Lake Tribune