KASB projects slight enrollment decline

by Ted Carter, tcarter@kasb.org

KASB’s annual enrollment projection indicates enrollment numbers will gradually decline from 499,034 in 2018-19 to 490,383 in 2023-24, which is a 1.7 percent decline in overall enrollment.

The following table shows the total numbers for each year and the percent change from the previous year:

KASB’s estimate does not take into consideration things such as commercial and residential development or other factors that could influence increases or decreases in student enrollment within public school districts. A ratio is calculated between county-level live birth rates and first grade enrollment within each district seven years later across the most recent five years, then that is used to estimate first grade enrollment for the next five years. From this estimation and ratios calculated between grade level enrollment one year and the next grade enrollment the next year, an overall district and state estimate is created for each grade level.

The chart below shows the totals by grade level for the state.

In addition, KASB calculates the percent in demographic and program participation categories based on the percentages reported for the state report card.

This year’s analysis does not indicate any major changes in these categories, aside from a 0.6 percent decline in students eligible for Free Lunch and a 0.7 percent decline in economically disadvantaged students overall. The table above provides more details.

It is important to note, however, though the numbers for the state look fairly consistent, some districts are projected to see notable changes.

Four districts (Rock Hills USD 107, Spring Hill USD 230, Smoky Valley USD 400, and Kiowa County USD 422) are projected to see increases over 30 percent, and one district (Rolla USD 217) is projected to see a decrease over 40 percent.
KASB also determines the average age for students in school; with lower average ages indicating the potential for growth in coming years and higher average ages indicating the potential for a decrease in enrollment in the future. The average age for students in 2018-19 is 11.59 and is projected to be 11.71 in 2023-24. This increase in average age could indicate that further decreases could be coming for Kansas public school enrollment beyond 2023-24.

Accuracy of projections

KASB calculates the accuracy of its enrollment projections as actual data becomes available to compare to the initial estimates. As the chart below shows, the estimates for the past three years have predicted the actual values with a fairly high degree of accuracy, particularly compared to the 2015-16 projections, which were much higher than the actual numbers.

Total percent error for projections one year out average less than 1 percent, while those that are two years out average almost 2 percent, and three years out average over 2 1/2 percent.

To interact with this data and see the projections at the district level, visit KASB’s member-only data page at kasb.org/research/kasb-data/members-only. If you do not have a password to access this page, contact ddyche@kasb.org.

CLICK HERE to download as a pdf.

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