LAUSD enrollment is declining. This is not news.
But where is that happening? Is it happening all over, or just in certain places?And in what grades?
Between in 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years, enrollment in traditional LAUSD schools dropped by 9,439 students. Meanwhile, charter school enrollment in LAUSD is growing. In the same time period, charter school enrollment grew by 23,082 students.
Below is a map showing net enrollment changes by zip code. Blue means the enrollment in that zip code grew, while orange means it dropped. I have separated the map into charter schools and traditional LAUSD schools (Which includes magnets).
(For a full view, click here)
But at the same time, charter schools are growing all over. Of course part of that is natural expansion toward their full grade level intention. The largest growth was from Alliance College Ready Academy 21 in Sun Valley, which is in its second year but added 261 students. 9 of the top 10 schools with the highest growth are charter schools.
Most of the growth in Charter Schools is in middle and high school:
Although the 11th grade number of charter growth appears alarming for LAUSD, it is actually the 6th, 7th and 8th grade numbers that are most alarming. Those students will likely roll upwards through charter schools in high school – creating an even larger enrollment decline.
All of this is to say: LAUSD has a problem. We are not at an end of enrollment decline. We aren’t even close to the end.
*A couple notes on this data. You may notice there are some zip codes that are not featured on the Charter School map. That is because there is no LAUSD-backed charter in that area. I have not included the charters that may be county-affiliated charters. In addition, I have excluded the data for community day, continuation and special education centers (all of which also have declining enrollment)