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D.C. Public Schools Retain Majority Of Students From Schools That Closed

When thirteen traditional public schools were closed at the end of the last academic year because they were under-enrolled, it meant approximately 2,000 students had to find a different school. According to the latest unaudited numbers, most of them remained in DCPS.

DCPS says the latest numbers show most of those students —73 percent — have re-enrolled in another DCPS school. That's up from the start of the school year in late August, when only 44 percent of students had re-enrolled.

When she announced the closure of 15 schools over two years in January, D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson said she aimed to re-enroll 80 percent of students.

Christopher Rinkus of DCPS' Critical Response Team says that they worked aggressively to retain the displaced students.

"We had the former principal at Ron Brown, in the middle of the summer, he took the time to knock on doors and let them know while Ron Brown was no longer an option, there’s a great opportunity in Kelly Miller, just down the street," he says.

Enrollment is important because a school receives at least $9,000 for each student enrolled. More students means more money, and that in turn means more staff and more programs.

When 23 schools were closed in 2008 the numbers were very different — one estimate was DCPS only retained 40 percent of students.

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