Nov 15, 2022 - News
What's driving declining enrollment and school closures in Colorado
A sustained decrease in student enrollment is leading to controversial school closures in Denver and other metro area districts.
- Denver held an hours-long public hearing Monday and will vote Thursday on a plan to close five schools, half those originally proposed.
- Jefferson County unanimously approved a plan last week to close 16 elementary schools at the end of the year.
What's happening: The trends are driven by a migration by families to more affordable suburbs, a shift toward enrolling in charter schools, and overall lower birth rates, according to an analysis from our partners at Chalkbeat.
By the numbers: In Denver, the under-18 population increased 3.7%, and charter school enrollment jumped 141% to 12,100 as the district added new options. Denver offered 20 charter schools in 2005 and 60 in 2020.
- Jefferson County experienced a 4% decrease in the school-aged population from 2010 to 2020, census figures show, and more students attended charter schools. That led district-run school enrollment to fall by 11.9% in that time period.
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