Student projections still lower than last year in all Tri-City districts
Fremont Argus, October 28, 2007
Enrollment figures for all Tri-City school districts came in higher than
projected this year, but it's still down from last year in
Fremont and New Haven.
Only Newark reported an increase in its student population.
While the districts are happy that
enrollment has surpassed their expectations for this
year, school officials continue to warn of a general
decline in coming years.
In Fremont, 31,729 students had enrolled in school
after the first month of classes--199 fewer pupils than
last year. That decline represents the sharpest dip in
enrollment in at least eight years, according to
And it's only the beginning. District officials expect
to see continued declines of 200 students each year for
at least the next two years.
For every 200 fewer students, the district will lose
about $631,000, said Bill Stephens, assistant
superintendent of business for the Fremont school
"We're pretty fortunate that this year's decline wasn't
as bad (as projected)," he said. "Next year, if there's
another 200-student decline, the district will feel it
If Fremont Unified is worried about its enrollment
numbers, it is not alone. Virtually every district in
the county is seeing fewer students in classrooms.
The enrollment this year in New
Haven is 12,998 students – the first time it has
dropped below 13,000 in at least four years, according
to a district report.
The report also showed that while the birth rate in the
district consistently increased from 1995 to 2002, the
number of children who would enroll in
New Haven schools as
kindergartners five years later dropped off during that
On the bright side, its overall enrollment is 40
students more than what had been projected for the year.
Part of that increase is the result of all-day
kindergarten classes that the district is offering for
the first time this year. Also, more students have
enrolled in the district's home-schooling and
independent study programs than was expected.
Whereas the Fremont and New
Haven districts reported lower enrollment this
year, the Newark school district saw its student
population rise for the first time in three years.
This year's enrollment of 7,140 students is 39 more than
last year. Tim Erwin, coordinator of pupil services in
Newark, attributed the
increase to a spike in kindergarten enrollment.
"This was a bit of a surprise," Erwin said.
"Was this a one-time anomaly that we bumped in
kindergarten? ... We're really going to have to wait and