SMITHFIELD – Johnston County Public Schools reported PreK – 12th grade total enrollment at 37,209 students, on Tuesday, the 10th day of classes for the 2023-24 school term. That number is down 98 students from last year’s Day 10 total of 37,307. And two years ago, enrollment was at 37,592, marking the second year numbers have fallen.
Tenth day enrollment numbers help determine state funding allocations to school districts.
In 2022, the Johnston County School Board received a Growth Needs Update, which included data from NC State University’s Operations Research and Education Labortory (OREd). The report estimated Johnston County Public Schools would grow on average 729 students per year, for the next 10 years.
Many parents are turning to charter and home schools. Charter school enrollment increased 19 percent from 2019 to 2022 in North Carolina, according to the NC Department of Public Instruction. That’s the fifth highest growth rate among all 50 states.
We reached out to Johnston County Public Schools on Wednesday for a comment about the decline in enrollment. So far, we have not received a response.