Rock Island-Milan School District expects enrollment decline over next five years

Published: Jan. 28, 2020 at 10:54 PM CST
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Enrollment in the Rock Island-Milan School District is expected to decline over the next five years.

The district released the projections at Tuesday's school board meeting. The enrollment reflects expected live birth rates into 2025.

"This year our enrollment is down by eight students from the prior year. We projected to lose a few students every year for the next five years based on live birth rates through the county," Bob Beckwith, the district's Chief Financial Officer, said.

Last school year, the district had 5,917 students enrolled. This year the number dropped to 5,909. Beckwith doesn't believe the decline is a reason for concern right now.

"It's been kind of stagnant for several years now. That's why with the projections where they are we believe that we're okay," he said.

Over the past several years, the Rock Island-Milan District enrollment has hovered within the same range.

"This year we were down by eight, last we were down by 50-some. The year before we were up by 43. So it fluctuates within that 100 students, one way or another," Beckwith said.

The school district's projections are based on Rock Island County Health Dept.'s live birth rate. In 2018, the rate decreased by 3.9 percent in the county.

The projections do not predict families who move into the district.

"The projections are purely based off of the live birth rates and then carried out through their 12 years in the school," Beckwith said.

This data is based on trends from past years, and if the trends continued into the future. Compared to other districts in the area, Beckwith said Rock Island-Milan is comparable.

"Couple of the districts are up by a few students, couple of them are down by a few students. We're down by eight. No one seems to be concerned at this point, and neither are we with regard to where our enrollment is," he said.

The Moline-Coal Valley School District is up 24 students from last year. Bettendorf School District is down by 87, but overall has seen an upward trend.

The overall population growth in the Quad Cities Area has seen a decline in the past several years. Rock Island County is down 3% since 2010.

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