Annual Overall Increase Less than Half of Projection Due to Recession, Home and Charter Schools
Growth in the student population of Greenville County Schools is down drastically from only three years ago and less than half of the projection for the current school year.
The Greenville County School District experienced an annual growth of up to 2,000 three years ago that included large increases in K-4 and K-5 Kindergarten at the elementary level. Since that time, growth in the student population has dipped to 250 for the current school year. The current enrollment excluding charter schools that are under the jurisdiction of the Greenville County School Board is 69,477.
The growth projection for this school-year was 600, however, only an increase of 250 was counted on the 15th day of new school year. Most of the growth in attendance occurred at the middle school level with an increase of 248 students. All of the elementary schools combined experienced an increase of only 24 students and high school enrollment decreased by 22 students from the previous year. The lag in enrollment is being officially attributed to the “recession” by District officials, however other factors are involved.
It is true that some of the illegal aliens employed in the Upstate have returned to their homes south of the border and no longer have their children enrolled in local government schools. It is also a fact that Mayor Knox White and local advocates of “controlled growth” are encouraging young single adults to move into the city from other parts of the country and have forced some low-income residents with school-aged children out through “urban renewal” projects.
Charter schools are pulling increasing numbers of students from the District’s regular schools. The seven increasingly popular charter schools currently in Greenville County have a total of 1,650 students enrolled.
There is also the matter of school dropouts the numbers of which may or may not be increasing are unreported.
It is significant that no one is discussing the large number of students who are being removed from District schools for various reasons and are home schooled. Many move in and out of District and private schools for various reasons, some of which are attributable to the current economic situation and high unemployment. The numbers of home schooled students are known to be increasing with each passing year, and no one has an exact head count.
Teachers in government schools have a legitimate complaint that many parents are not accepting responsibility for their children and the resulting family problems are spilling over into schools and disrupting classroom work.
Some parents are unhappy because of the federal government’s increasing involvement in neighborhood schools and infringement on parental rights by sometimes undermining parental authority. An increasing number of parents have complaints regarding the curriculum that fails to teach important facts of history and constitutional government, while political and social issues such as environmentalism, socialism, humanism and aspects of eastern religions are sometimes emphasized.
With only minor changes in student populations and intensive management of teacher allocations the Superintendent announced that only four teachers district-wide were transferred to other schools due to shifts in enrollment.