After decades of decline, public school enrollment (DCPS and public charter schools) began increasing annually starting in 2009. Between 2008 and 2019, public school enrollment increased by 33% or 23,242 more public school students during the time period. In 2020, the first school year affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, enrollment declined to 93,747. Enrollment increased slightly to 93,807 in 2021, the second year affected by the pandemic, and saw a further increase to 96,489 in 2022.
Total Public School Audited Enrollment, 1990-2022
Between 2010 and 2018, public charter school enrollment steadily increased. In 2019, the public charter sector decreased slightly and has since continued its upward annual trend in 2020 and 2021, even during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In 2022, public charter schools enrolled 48% of the total public school population. DCPS enrollment peaked in 2019 and, after declining for two years during the pandemic, increased again in 2022 to 50,131.
Total Public School Audited Enrollment by Sector, 2010-2022
Source: OSSE Audited Enrollment