Enrollment at grew slightly in the past year, but is expected to decline in the years ahead, according to a midyear report presented to the Birmingham Board of Education Tuesday.
According to schools spokeswoman Marcia Wilkinson, enrollment after the 2011-12 winter count was 8,340 — up 0.5 percent from 8,298 in the fall and up 0.7 percent from 8,280 a year ago.
The biggest increases, Wilkinson said, are and will continue to be in the pre-kindergarten population, with a 13 percent increase expected in the next four years.
Deputy Superintendent for Educational Services Paul DeAngelis said much of the population increases in recent years can be attributed to the weaker but still stable housing market, which allows more people to move to the area.
"As the housing market goes down, we see increases in student population," he said, adding that Birmingham's rental population has also increased.
However, Wilkinson said, after years of growth projections indicate that there are declines ahead. In the 2014-15 school year, she said, Birmingham schools are expected to lose 130 students — a drop that is expected to be reflected across the state, she said, because of birth rate trends.
Overall, Wilkinson said the school district is expected to see its population drop by 4.6 percent by 2016.
Other highlights from the enrollment report include:
- While the pre-K population is expected to jump during the next four years, the number of students in grades 1-4 will drop 7 percent and students in grades 5-8 will drop 8 percent. The high school population, meanwhile, is expected to increase 6 percent.
- Of the number of students coming to Birmingham Public Schools, the majority came from other Michigan schools, though 132 students moved to the district from out-of-state — 30 more than last year.
- The biggest population shifts occur at key transition times, including 5th grade, 6th grade or 9th grade.
- The number of students in the district's tuition enrollment program fell from 176 to 163 students in 2011-12. Tuition from the program also fell from $1.8 million to $1.2 million.
Projections are made using data from Plante Moran, SEMCOG and the U.S. Census.