School enrollment resumes losing trend, down nearly 300

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Fayette now has same number of students as 13 years ago; all-time high of 22,367 in 2006-2007

Student enrollment in Fayette County schools inched up last year, reversing a trend that had seen declining numbers for the previous six years. But figures released by the school system Monday showed enrollment in October at 20,166, down nearly 300 over the same period last year.

The school year began in August with 20,124 students enrolled. That compares to the 20,463 students attending classes in August 2012. Enrollment last month had increased to 20,166, down approximately 300 students from October 2012.

Falling enrollment has plagued the school system since the Great Recession. Fayette schools over the decades saw increasing numbers of students as the county’s population continued to grow. Fayette had an all-time high enrollment of 22,367 in 2006-2007.

Local economic conditions coinciding with the Great Recession also impacted the school system. Enrollment numbers shrank to 22,108 in 2007-2008 and to 21,683 in 2009-2010. Enrollment numbers continued to fall in subsequent years. By mid-2012 the school system had 20,463 students enrolled.

Current figures put school system enrollment below the count in 2001-2002 when 20,337 students attended Fayette schools and above the 2000-2001 figure when 19,832 students were enrolled.

There is more to enrollment than the number of students attending classes. There is also the revenue from state sources that accompanies enrollment numbers. Each student in the system brings in approximately $4,000 in state revenue. Thus, each 250 students generates approximately $1 million in state funds.