Between the 2007-08 school year and the just completed 2017-18 school year in Connecticut, total K-12 student enrollment across the state dropped by nearly 40,000 students, reflected a gradual year-over-year decline in every year of the decade.
According to state Department of Education data, enrollment in 2007-08 was 574,848, which slid down to 535,025 this past year, a decline of 39,823 students, or just under 7 percent.
The demographic characteristics of Connecticut’s students has changed substantially. During the past ten years, the percentage of White students has dropped from 65 percent of those enrolled to 53 percent, while the percentage of Hispanic students has grown from 17 percent in 2007-08 to nearly 25 percent (24.85%) during the school year that ended last month. The percentage of Black students has nudged upward, from 13 to 14 percent.
There were 286,506 White students, 132,940 Hispanic students and 68,697 Black or African American Students during the 2017-18 school year. That compares with 373,818 White students, 96,127 Hispanic students and 80,234 Black students. In the past decade, the number of Black students has increased by about 11,000 while the number of Hispanic students has grown by more than triple that – about 36,000.
There were 79,256 students who had qualified for Special Education status last year, up from 68,750 in 2007-08.
Seven percent of students, a total of 38,368, qualified for English Learner status, compared with about 5 percent, or 30,088 students, during the 2007-08 academic year.
Looking ahead, there were 36,239 students in Kindergarten in Connecticut public schools last year. In 2007-08, there were 39,944.