Wednesday, August 5, 2015

TUSD Enrollment, 2000 to 2015

Posted By on Wed, Aug 5, 2015 at 9:11 AM

click to enlarge students-wanted.jpg
When I was looking up enrollment figures for Tucson-area districts for my last post, I got to wondering, how many students has TUSD lost over the years? I found that the TUSD website supplied me with all the information I needed. It has a page, School Enrollment by Gender & Ethnicity on Any Day, where you can find the enrollment for the district or for individual schools for any day from 1996 on. It was just a matter of plugging in dates and days, then looking up the information.

I looked at three different points in the school year for every year since 2000 to see which yielded the most reliable data: the 20th day—about a month in, time enough for the beginning-of-the-year enrollment to settle down—the 100th day—that's the magic day the state uses to determine a district's yearly enrollment—and the 175th day—basically the end of the school year. Of the three, I found the 175th day to be the most reliable, with the fewest random ups and downs to distort the data. The bar chart I created with the data is below. The number of students the district lost each year is at the top of the corresponding bar.

You can look over the chart yourself, but let me summarize what I gleaned from the information.

• TUSD enrollment at the end of the 2000-1 school year was 61,280. At the end of the 2014-15 school year, it was 48,078. That's a loss of 13,202 students, an average of 880 students a year.

• Until the 2007-8 school year, the yearly student losses were generally in the 200-300 range. Then, for the next five years, the losses were four to seven times higher.

• The last three years didn't follow a steady pattern, going from a loss of 841 to 1436 and back to 826.

• It's too early to tell if enrollment trends are changing one way or another since Supt. Sanchez began at TUSD. The 2013-14 school year was his first, and it had a 1436 loss from the previous year. However, that loss was more-or-less consistent from the beginning of the year. On the 20th day, there was a 1533 loss from the previous year, a loss Sanchez inherited from Supt. Pedicone. By the end of Sanchez's first year, the loss was cut back by 100, but that kind of fluctuation is typical, so it doesn't mean much one way or another. For the last complete school year, 2014-15, the district's loss looks like it did two years earlier, but one year's enrollment data doesn't mean much in itself. The figures over the next few years will tell us more about enrollment trends during Sanchez's tenure.
click to enlarge chart-attend-175th-day.jpg

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