Fewer Kindergartners In Idaho’s Schools This Year
The Boise School District announced there are fewer kindergartners enrolled in Idaho's public schools this year than last year, which continues a 3 year decline in kindergarten enrollment. Spokesman Dan Hollar says there were about 1,000 fewer kindergarteners statewide in the 2014-15 school year than in the 2013-14 school year.
In West Ada, there are currently 2,560 kindergarten students enrolled. That's a drop from 2,620 in 2014, and an even steeper drop from 2,760 in 2012.
District officials in Boise and West Ada school districts suspect the decrease could be tied to the recession.
This year's kindergarteners were born in 2009 and 2010, right during the recession. West Ada is one of the fastest growing districts in the state, but during the recession, the rate of growth slowed to approximately 500 new students per year. Eric Exline with West Ada district says that there is a gap between the number of kindergarteners enrolled and the number of first graders enrolled. Some gap is expected, because kindergarten is not mandatory in Idaho, but the difference has been smaller in years past.