The Wake County school system's market share of school-age children in the county shrunk this past school year to 82.9 percent.
Newly figures released indicate that for the 2009-10 school year, the school system had 139,599 of the county's estimated 168,384 students. This 82.9 percent figure is down from 83.3 percent in 2008-09.
You can calculate the market share because new statewide home school figures were released today. The number of registered home schools has doubled statewide in the past decade to 43,316.
Wake had 4,023 home schools with an estimated enrollment of 7,890 students in the 2009-10 school year. That's up from 3,771 home schools with an estimated 7,571 students in 2008-09.
Add 15,689 students in private schools, 5,206 in charter schools and 139,599 in the school district.
Wake's market share has been dropping since home schools and charter schools opened in the 1990s. Back then, the district's market share was over 90 percent of the county's students.
Members of the new school board majority have blamed the drop on the district's student assignment policies. They say that community-based schools will lure families, many of whom are middle class or affluent, back to the school system.
But supporters of the old diversity policy argue that the changes will lead to more families leaving the school system. They've cited Charlotte-Mecklenburg, where the market share is around 81 percent.