Migrant students end enrollment slump for Denver schools


(The Center Square) – Denver Public Schools saw a boost in enrollment for the first time since the pandemic thanks to a surge of migrant students, according to a report the school board received this week.

From 2014 to 2019, the school district’s enrollment had grown from 88,886 to 92,211. But the enrollment dropped three years in a row post-pandemic, dropping to 87,802 in 2022. In 2023, it grew to 88,258 with an additional 3,926 migrant students joining the district.

By comparison, the district had 1,020 migrant students in 2021-22 and 1,543 migrant students in 2022-23.

The district stated it was starting to see more migrant students leave the district after the city of Denver stated it would no longer provide long-term shelter for arriving migrants.

The district had 4,710 migrant students arrive in 2023-24 but also saw 780 exit during this past school year for a net of 3,930. The pace of newcomer students leaving the district has accelerated since April, the district said.

On April 10, Denver Mayor Mike Johnson announced the Denver Asylum Seekers Program. Migrants arriving after April 10 would be given short-term stay at a shelter with “assistance securing onward travel to another destination.”

Denver has been targeted by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott due to the city’s sanctuary status. Abbott posted Thursday on X that the state has shipped 19,200 migrants to Denver since 2022.

The school district stated in an email to The Center Square that it did not have projections on how many migrant students could be joining the district in the future.

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