Posted on April 23, 2024
Categories: Research and Evaluation

This brief provides information about enrollment patterns for K-12 students in Philadelphia’s public schools. The analyses focus on enrollment changes with respect to governing sector (District, Philadelphia Charter, Cyber Charter, Alternative, or Other), admission type (Catchment, Citywide, or Criteria-Based), and student demographics.

The brief looks at enrollment trends from 2014-15 through the present school year, with a particular focus on 2022-23 to 2023-24.

Key findings include:

  • As of October 1, 2023, overall enrollment in Philadelphia public schools was 197,115 students.
    • 112,816 students were enrolled in District schools.
    • 3,299 students were enrolled in Alternative schools.
    • 64,119 students were enrolled in Philadelphia Charter schools.
    • 14,643 students were enrolled in Cyber Charter schools.
    • 2,238 students were enrolled in Other school categories.
  • From 2014-15 to 2023-24:
    • District school enrollment declined by 13.3% (17,259 fewer students).
    • Alternative school enrollment declined by 0.8% (25 fewer students).
    • Philadelphia Charter school enrollment declined by 0.3% (182 fewer students).
    • Cyber Charter school enrollment increased by over 2500% (14,096 more students).
  • As of October 1, 2023, Spanish was the most common non-English home language reported among students in District schools. The number of District students whose families reported that they speak Portuguese at home has grown rapidly since the 2021-22 school year, surpassing the number of Mandarin Chinese speakers as the second most common non-English language spoken at home in 2023-24.