Pasco County school enrollment, including charters, expected to rise
When it meets Tuesday, the Pasco County School Board is scheduled to consider allowing several charter schools to expand their enrollment. If the growth is approved, Pasco's charter schools -- including one new one -- are on track to educate 4,111 children next year.
That's a 495-student increase from their current combined population.
Unlike Hillsborough County, though, the charters' increases are not pushing down the numbers in Pasco's traditional schools. Those are projected to see a 1,311-student rise in population, as well, across elementary, middle and high schools.
Even so, Pasco district officials continue to seek ways to attract children back into their classrooms. They're adding magnet programs at two middle schools in the fall, and have encouraged principals at other campuses to consider implementing attractors that might lure students in future years.
The stated goal is to make education more interesting to children, and provide more choices. But there money issue still lingers. District leaders here, as elsewhere, have noted that FY2017 funding is fairly stagnant except for enrollment growth, and money does follow the student. The finance team is still working on its next spending plan, with a partial freeze in place while department and school heads suggest places to add and also to cut.
The School Board is expected to get recommendations by June.