Sharp enrollment losses in lower grades raise more concerns about El Paso population growth
The number of El Paso County children enrolling in kindergarten through second grade has dropped precipitously in the last seven years, further evidence that El Paso’s once-robust population growth has stalled.
El Paso County schools – including both traditional school districts and charter schools – had 34,603 students enrolled in kindergarten, first grade and second grade this year, according to data released in March 2019 by the Texas Education Agency. That’s down more than 5,000 from the 2011-12 enrollment in those grades, according to TEA records, a decline of 13%.
Only one traditional school district in El Paso County – Canutillo Independent School District in the western part of the county – has seen an increase in K-2 population in the past seven years. Canutillo’s K-2 population grew by 88 students to 1,345 this year, or 7%.
Even Socorro ISD, long described as a growing district on the eastern edge of El Paso’s city limits, is experiencing a population decline among its youngest students, according to TEA data. Socorro enrolled 8,758 students in K-2 last year, down 317 from 2011-12, a 3.5% drop.