Enrollment plunges in Central New York schools, spurring some to think merger

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fifty-nine of the 64 districts experienced an enrollment drop since 2003-2004. Some have lost nearly a third of their enrollment. It's a trend that is expected to continue as the birth rate drops, prompting some districts to consider the value of merging.

Overall the number of students in Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, and Oswego counties dropped 10 percent, from 169,746 in 2003-2004 to 152,704 in 2012-13, according to the latest state Education Department figures. The drop exceeds the combined enrollments of North Syracuse and Liverpool, Onondaga County's two largest suburban districts.

Enrollments are likely to drop further, considering the Pew Research Center in July said the national birthrate fell 9 percent from 2007 to 2011.

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