San Diego Unified School District Continues to Decline in Enrollment

San Diego Unified School District has continued to see reduced enrollment in recent years. The district anticipates 1,200 fewer students in K-12 than last year.

In total, 94 schools reported enrollment below 80 percent of maximum capacity and a dozen schools will operate with less than 50 percent capacity or less, according to state data. 

The steady decline in enrollment has been going on for several years, and there is no sign it will turn around anytime soon.

District leaders are scrambling to make up for the lost student money—about $13,000 per student—since the state funds public schools on a per pupil basis. The district is anticipating a loss of about $15.6 million this year. 

Fewer students also means fewer teachers. Roughly 60 teachers will be out of a job based on the current numbers. As a result, San Diego Unified will save about $2.76 million in salary expenditures, but that still leaves the district with a deficit of $13 million.

“Many of our families are simply being priced out of the newer neighborhoods within the Mid-City corridor,” says Dave Downey, a school principal in the district.


Photo by Calle Macarone