Birth rate continues to drop in Palm Beach County; school impacts projected by next year

The birth rate in Palm Beach County continues to drop, and should impact classroom population numbers starting next year, says a five-year enrollment projects report prepared by the Palm Beach County School District’s Planning & Real Estate Services division.

The report says:

  • Births in Palm Beach County have declined every year since 2007; these declines will impact the number of kindergarten students entering school in August 2013 – 2016;
  • K-12 enrollment is projected to increase by 5400 students over the next five years; by contrast, the district grew by 4500-5000 students each year between 1985 and 2004.

School Enrollment and Demographics Manager Art Wittman said he believes district five-year enrollment projections are an important component of planning for students and schools. “These projections identify geographic areas where additional space may be needed in the future. Five-year projections are an integral part of the annual update of the district’s capital plan. The projections are useful for other district planning activities.”

Wittman went on to say, “This forecast also helps with identifying options for schools to meet class size reduction through program or boundary changes. The school by school enrollment projections help recognize where staffing adjustments may be needed in upcoming school years.

Other highlights of the report include:

  • 70 percent of projected enrollment growth, or 3800 students, is forecast in charter schools;
  • Projected enrollment over five years in the 165 district elementary, middle and high schools is 1100 students – elementary – decline of 1062 students; middle – increase of 1231 students; high – gain of 910 students
  • Aging baby-boomer component is anticipated to make-up a larger share of local housing market;

For more information contact Wittman at 561-434-8301 or art.wittman@palmbechschools.

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About Pedro Heizer

I'm a person of simple taste, all I need is some country music, Batman, Star Wars, sports, coffee, and most importantly Jesus Christ, because what profits a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? View all posts by Pedro Heizer

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