Even with new students joining the district each year through its Transitional Kindergarten program, the San Diego Unified School District has seen an average drop in enrollment by 2 percent each year, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Only 96,500 children have been enrolled in the district as of three weeks into the academic year – a decrease [of] 550 students from the previous year and a 6 percent drop of 6,500 children since the fall of 2019.
As overall enrollment has decreased, Transitional Kindergarten has brought the district about 2,500 additional students since 2019. The district is still working on building new facilities that can accommodate the students and has a waitlist of about 250, district officials told the Tribune.
“We believe [Transitional Kindergarten] could be our best opportunity to restore enrollment,” Marceline Sciuto, operations support officer for the district, told the Tribune.
The enrollment decline has, in part, been driven by families leaving San Diego for other more affordable areas. And a lot of the new housing that has been built is more geared toward adults without children, Sciuto said.
“This is a district bleeding out, so how we stop the bleeding is fundamental to our viability as an organization and our continued ability to serve the families … of San Diego,” board trustee Cody Petterson told the Tribune.