In Partnership with 74

Fewer kids than expected are in LAUSD schools this year – that means $17M less in the budget

Mike Szymanski | October 9, 2017

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LA Unified’s enrollment is dropping even faster than the district projected.

There are 12,604 fewer students than last year, a 2.51 percent decline, last month’s official head count showed. The district had anticipated only a 2.1 percent drop.

The difference means there will be $17 million less in the 2018-19 budget, and an additional $18 million less in the 2019-20 budget, according to a superintendent’s report to be presented to the school board Tuesday.

School districts receive their funding from the state based on average daily attendance, which is determined each year on norm day. That day, which was Sept. 15 this year, is when school populations are finalized for the year and teacher class sizes are adjusted.

This year’s drop was less than last year’s, when the district lost 2.76 percent of the school population, or 14,190 students. 

The total enrollment for all district schools in 2017-18 is now 501,271 students. That does not include the district’s expanded pre-K and transitional kindergarten school populations.

The number of children in the district has steadily declined since its peak in 2004, when there were 750,000 students. The birth rate in LA County has declined as rising rents have forced families to leave the city. Enrollment in LA’s independent public charter schools is expected to grow by about 4,000 students from 107,000 last year.

The superintendent’s report at Tuesday’s school board meeting will be given by Associate Superintendent Vivian Ekchian, who is substituting for Michelle King while she is on a medical leave of absence due to an injury, according to the Los Angeles TimesThe board meeting starts at 1 p.m. at the district’s Beaudry headquarters. It will be streamed live here.

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