An article recently published in the Wilkes Journal-Patriot out of Wilkes County, North Carolina reported that it’s local public school district has been facing declining enrollment.
Wilkes County schools started out the new century with over 10,000 students in the system. In the 2009-10 school year, it dropped below the 10,000 mark, and the gradual decline has not stopped. In the 2016-17 school year, the enrollment was about 9,560. Charter schools gained 11,437 students, homeschooling gained 9,579, and private education increased by 2,864 students statewide. Redistricting and closure of schooling were also taken into account in this survey, coupled with the decline of school-aged children living in Wilkes County.
Enrollment in the Wilkes County schools is dropping after holding steady for many years, but the full impact of this is yet to be seen.
The school system started the 21st century with a little over 10,000 students, and it remained around that level until it dropped to 9,850 in 2009-10. It was 9,896 in fiscal 2015-16, 9,662 in 2016-17 and 9,560 this year.
These are “average daily membership” figures, which are used to determine the number of teacher positions funded by the state and certain other budget items.