Colorado’s Public School Enrollment Grows Again, Though Slower Than Before

More than 905,000 students are attending public schools in Colorado this year, which represents less than a 1 percent increase over last year.

Overall statewide, the growth in the number of students is slowing, according to the latest Colorado Department of Education numbers. This year’s 0.7 percent growth was the smallest percentage increase in nearly three decades. Colorado hasn’t seen a decrease since 1988.

The number of students enrolled is a big deal for school districts because it’s the biggest factor in the formula that determines how much money they get from the state.

Denver Public Schools remains the largest district, topping 91,000 students. But it isn’t the fastest-growing district. This year, the school districts in the cities and suburbs outside of the Denver metro region are growing most rapidly – places like Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Grand Junction, Greeley and Pueblo.

Among students in racial and ethnic groups, the greatest percentage increase, 7 percent, was among those classified as Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander. But in hard numbers, the biggest increase was among Hispanics and Latinos, up to 303,573 in 2016 from 300,107 the year before.

Here’s the 10 largest school districts in the state:

  1. Denver Public Schools (91,132)
  2. Jeffco Public Schools (86,347)
  3. Douglas County School District (67,470)
  4. Cherry Creek Schools (54,815)
  5. Aurora Public Schools (41,797)
  6. Adams 12 Five Star Schools (38,818)
  7. St. Vrain Valley School District (32,171)
  8. Boulder Valley School District (31,189)
  9. Poudre School District (29,682)
  10. Colorado Springs District 11 (27,911)