DENVER (KDVR) — Denver Public Schools has experienced declining enrollment within the district for the past several years, and now the district is providing an update on the outlook for the next four years.
DPS Superintendent Dr. Alex Marrero shared an update on the district’s enrollment.
In the statement, Marrero said that due to significant declines in enrollment caused by lower birth rates and changing housing markets the smallest schools within DPS are struggling to offer support to those students.
Marrero provided the statistics on the outlook for DPS enrollment for the next four years. According to DPS, Denver expects an additional loss of 3,000 students over the next four years.
This decline will cost the district an annual loss of $36 million to schools across Denver because, according to DPS, school funding is primarily based on enrollment.
In order to combat the declining numbers, Marrero said that the schools with the biggest drops in enrollment will receive district-subsidized funding in order to keep those schools operational.
“This costs approximately 50% more per student. This additional payment is simply keeping the schools open, without robust programs or student support. Plus, in many cases, this requires combining students across multiple grades into a single classroom-as well as cutting support staff to the minimum allowable requirements,” said Marrero in a statement.
Marrero said DPS is committing to humanizing the process when it comes to school closures and consolidations taking place. He said that in very rare instances, a small school may need to consolidate within an enrollment zone versus a specific school.
“School consolidation is about bringing communities together to solve for the enrollment decline, not because of school performance concerns, and we will treat them as such,” said Marrero.
Board members will vote on the next steps on school consolidation in November.