The enrollment projections are being lowered again in the face of the national economic meltdown.
At today's joint meeting, school and county staff say that, for budgeting purposes, they're projecting enrollment this fall at 140,012 students. That would be a gain of 2,306 students, the smallest increase since 1990.
The growth is so much slower this fall because of the economy and a new state law that says students must turn age 5 by Aug. 31 to attend kindergarten.
Pushing it out to 2018, the budgeting enrollment projection has Wake at 190,180 students.
Asst. Supt. Chuck Dulaney said this was a conservative projection because they want to avoid being in a position, such as this year, where enrollment came in much lower than projected. This forces teachers to change schools and possibly lose their jobs.
School and county staff also introduced a second set of projections today that they say should be used for school building programs. Under this system, it has Wake at 206,659 students in 2018.
Dulaney said you don't want to be too conservative when it comes to determining how many schools are needed.
Still, both projections are lower than the ones used for the current building program that had Wake at 216,538 students in 2018.
Since I know some of you are probably asking, Rosa Gill, chairwoman of the school board, said the new projections aren't a reason to change year-round plans. She said they still need the capacity now.
"We see no reason now to change our year-round plans," Gill said after today's joint meeting.
The change could come after the state Supreme Court finally rules on the year-round lawsuit.