Districts Face Rising Enrollment Across Idaho

Sep 4, 2015

In March, West Ada School District voters approved a $96 million bond issue to alleviate crowding at Lake Hazel Middle School and other sites. So far this school year, enrollment is up by another 950 students.
Credit Idaho Education News

A scramble to add teachers and staffers in Vallivue, Twin Falls and beyond.

A portable classroom building at Madison Junior High School.

Emergency property tax collections. And perhaps, in Boise, an earlier-than-expected discussion about another building bond issue.

Across many of Idaho’s largest districts, preliminary enrollment numbers are heading upward, and that has short- and long-term implications. In the short term, class sizes will increase. In the long term, taxpayers may be asked to add new facilities.

The early estimates are just that: estimates. And they’re volatile. On opening day in Boise, Aug. 24, numbers were flat. Now, the district expects an enrollment increase of 450. Parents may have been thrown off by this year’s early start, deputy superintendent Coby Dennis said; it’s uncommon for Boise to start the school year two weeks before Labor Day.

The State Department of Education takes a few weeks to allow the numbers to shake out; statewide fall enrollment numbers won’t be released until Oct. 15. And the numbers will be revised again in February (the 2014-15 enrollment figures for this article are based on that Feb. 15 report).

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