By Lloyd Dunkelberger
News Service of Florida
Florida public schools are expected to grow by 27,000 students in the next year, under an estimate approved by state forecasters on Thursday.
The 0.9 percent growth rate for the 2018-19 academic year is in line with an estimate showing the number of students in Florida K-12 classrooms will average less than 1 percent growth over the four subsequent years.
K-12 enrollment is projected to rise from 2.83 million students this year to 2.86 million next fall, an increase of 26,764 full-time students in the 67 school districts and the Florida Virtual School, according to Thursday’s forecast.
The K-12 population will rise to 2.95 million students by the fall of 2022, averaging an annual increase of 0.85 percent from the fall of 2018, the projection shows.
Next year, students enrolled statewide in standard education classes in grades 4-8 will increase by 1.5 percent, while standard high school enrollment will grow by 1.3 percent, the estimate shows. K-3 enrollment is projected to decline by 1.3 percent.
Among the major trends, the estimate shows a 3.4 percent increase in students enrolled in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program, with 202,033 students projected next fall, an increase of 6,608 students from this year. Continue Reading →