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An in-depth look by I-News - a Colorado-based nonprofit investigative news collaborative, Education News Colorado, and KUNC at the state’s online K-12 schools. Topics include: online K-12 school performance, state- and district-level oversight, and for-profit Education Management Organizations, such as K12 Inc.

Enrollment in Colorado K-12 Schools Grows by 1.3 Percent

Poudre School District
Lopez Elementary School fifth-graders get creative with duct tape.

Student enrollment across Colorado continues to grow according to new numbers released by the Colorado Department of Education. Enrollment at the state’s schools increased by 1.3 percent this year—with some of the largest gains in Denver Public Schools, the state’s charter schools and full-time online learning programs.

DPS, the state’s second-largest school district after Jeffco Public Schools, gained 2,573 students—the largest increase across the state. In terms of percentage gain, the Charter School Institute saw a 31.64 percent increase in enrollment compared to 2010. Meantime, enrollment in the state’s online k-12 school increased by 6.4 percent this year with 16,221 students enrolled.

Student counts are done in October during a small time window and determine a school’s funding for the year. But how the state counts students could be changing. Democratic State Senate President Brandon Shaffer is expected to introduce legislation this year that would revamp the October student count.