Biggest Gain in Enrollment Since 1968 Lifts School System to Largest in State as Race and Ethnic Changes Continue

October 17, 2000
The largest enrollment gain in 32 years has added more than 4,000 new students to the Montgomery County Public Schools, creating the largest and most diverse school district in Maryland -- with nearly one-fourth of the new students enrolled in English for Speakers of Other Languages Program (ESOL), according to a report released today [Tuesday, October 17] at a meeting of the Board of Education.

The overall enrollment of 135,085 is the most in the school district's history, and it represents the first time that the white enrollment has not been the statistical majority. This year, white students represent 49 percent of the enrollment, with African American students at 21.2 percent, Hispanic students at 16.2 percent, and Asian American students at 13.3 percent.

The enrollment gains are expected to continue for several years, topping more than 140,000 students in six years. The school district already has the 12th fastest growing enrollment in the nation, according to the federal government, and this year the school system is experiencing the biggest single-year increase in student population since 1968.

The highest enrollment is in elementary schools, which sets the pace for increasingly larger enrollments in secondary schools over the next several years. The high school enrollment is expected to reach more than 41,400 students by 2006.

Enrollment gains in special education, Head Start, and ESOL are increasing also, with the county already enrolling nearly half of all English language learners in the state.

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