Pasco schools see slight enrollment decline
Sure, it was only the first day of classes. The numbers usually rise for a couple of weeks as new students keep showing up.
But the first day numbers usually show a trend, and this year it would be one of a shrinking student body for Pasco County schools after a couple of no-growth years following several years of massive growth. The district has projected an increase of 48 students for the year.
But on Day 1, district planning director Chris Williams reports that attendance was down 173 students from the first day a year ago, with a total of 62,573 children. The slide came in elementary schools, which had 295 fewer children, while other school levels including charters saw small increases. Individual school shifts were small — 51 students up at Taylor Elementary and 66 down at Denham Oaks Elementary, for instance — but combined they added up.
Officials will reassess the numbers after 20 class days and determine whether they need to shift teachers to different schools or grade levels. Superintendent Heather Fiorentino has said she would like the district to meet class size requirements but cannot make promises based on this year's funding.