D.C. schools see increase in enrollment for first time in 39 years

The D.C. Public School System is preparing to mark a major milestone. Tuesday morning, D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee and Mayor Adrian Fenty are expected to announce that for the first time in 39 years enrollment in the city's schools is up.

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Parents had mixed reactions when told the D.C. Public Schools System saw its first enrollment increase in 39 years.


But what that means for the students and their education is still unclear. Parents aren't quite sure what to make of it either. Monday, ahead of the official announcement, some parents see it as a sign the troubled system is improving while others worry already crowded classrooms will get more crowded.

"It's a good thing. To see more kids in schools is a good thing," said after school arts instructor Anna Mwalagho.

Parent Ana Rondon said, "More kids and more kids. They have 500 kids in schools where there's only supposed to be 300."

The chancellor and the mayor will reveal that 73 schools saw increases and that more than a dozen now have a wait list for the first time. The increases are city-wide, occuring at schools in each of the eight wards.

Many parents are hopeful that with more demand for more high-quality schools and programs there will ultimately be an increase in qualified teachers and a higher standard of learning.

Parent Rosalyn Johnson said, "I can see that if there if a lot of parents put their kids in schools, they'll have more programs and they'll continue to improve."

The news of the enrollment increase also has parents weighing in on what they hope to see in the future. At Harriet Tubman Elementary in Northwest, where several teachers were fired in recent years, there is an especially intense focus on the future of the instruction staff here.

Parent Ana Rondon said, "They could improve by supporting the teachers a little more. The teacher is the main key to our education. Teachers need support."

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