Will Florida school enrollment keep growing?
With unemployment high and property values dropping, many Florida school district leaders don't expect to see their numbers rise.
That's not what the Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research predicts, though.
The EDR's latest FTE enrollment forecast from February is up, up, up for the state's student body. It projects an increase of 24,116 students in 2011-12, 28,088 in 2012-13 and 18,962 in 2013-14.
The office still sees Pinellas as shrinking slightly, but anticipates growth for Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties, which have seen their enrollment flatten in recent years. Maybe these projections are overly optimistic? And is there a warning sign in them? Because if more kids come and revenue doesn't keep pace, per student funding would only continue to drop.
We still have this year to concern ourselves with. The Legislature signs in today, with the House Pre-K-12 Appropriations subcomittee talking budget cut scenarios at 1 p.m. Stay tuned.