Mayor Adams And Chancellor Banks Mark First NYC Public School Enrollment Increase In Eight Years

November 15, 2023

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor David C. Banks today announced the first increase in student enrollment at New York City public schools in eight years, based on preliminary data.

For the 2023-2024 school year, the DOE has seen enrollment increase approximately 1 percent — or roughly 8,000 students — bringing the total number of students registered in the DOE to approximately 915,000 and maintaining New York City’s status as the nation’s largest school district.

“When we say New York City is back, we are not just talking about our economy — we are talking about our communities and our entire city. And after eight years of declining enrollment, New York City public schools are back,” said Mayor Adams. “Chancellor Banks and our administration are focused on delivering the best education possible for our young New Yorkers by cutting through bureaucracy, expanding outreach, and making enrollment easier. New Yorkers are voting with their feet, and we are excited to see funding increase for so many of our public schools.”

“After eight years of enrollment declines, we are thrilled to see enrollment increase across the city,” said DOE Chancellor Banks. “With a majority of schools gaining additional funding during this mid-year adjustment, we are well positioned to meet the challenges ahead. However, to continue our progress and ensure the success of our students, particularly those in temporary housing, we urgently need increased state and federal funding.”

After eight years of declining enrollment, this positive trend is a testament to the effective strategies implemented by the Adams administration, including through the Project Open Arms initiative. In line with DOE’s standard timeline, audited and finalized enrollment data will be available in the spring as part of the demographic snapshot. As this data — current as of October 31, 2023 — is preliminary and unaudited, students can still enter or leave the system, and the data can fluctuate until the audit process is complete.

The increase in enrollment is particularly significant as the Adams administration navigates the post-COVID-19 era without the benefit of federal stimulus funds. This year, approximately 57 percent of schools are expected to receive a total of $183 million — an average of $209,000 per school — in additional Fair Student Funding due to higher-than-projected enrollment. The Adams administration’s commitment to equitable education is further reflected in its Fair Student Funding policy, which ensures that schools with higher enrollments and schools that serve students with additional needs receive the necessary resources to support their students. Increased enrollment will also bolster the administration’s advocacy for additional state and federal funding.

Also today, the DOE published its annual class size report, showing that the city is in compliance for this school year with the state’s new class size mandates. However, to maintain compliance as state law mandates smaller class sizes over the coming years, additional resources will be required — particularly to equitably support schools across the city. The Adams administration will continue to advocate for state and federal funding to support students and families as the law is implemented.

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