1/4 of District 281 Students Attend Non-Public Schools Or Other Districts

The MN Sun-Post confirms what most residents believed about declining enrollment in District 281: Parents and students are voting with their feet.

A new report is shedding more light on open enrollment in Robbinsdale District 281 Schools.

Dennis Beekman, the district’s executive director of technology, told the School Board on March 3 that 76 percent of the 15,225 school-age children who live in the district attended District 281 schools in 2006-07, a number that has remained constant the last five years.

He said the report showed 1,425 District 281 resident students attended non-public schools, and 1,132 attended public schools outside the district.

The 24 percent who attend school elsewhere are split between non-public schools (9 percent), other public schools (8 percent), charter schools (2 percent), special education and other programs in Independent School District 287 (2 percent), and 1 percent each at Highview Alternative School, home schools, and the West Metro Education Program (WMEP’s Fair and downtown schools).

Residents who attend school elsewhere choose neighboring districts as follows: Hopkins, 288 students; Wayzata (287); Minneapolis (193); and Osseo (189). Others attended Brooklyn Center School District, St. Louis Park, Edina and Anoka-Hennepin schools, Beekman said.

Given the poor performance, violence and other issues at 281 middle and high schools, exporting to other districts and non-public schools will most likely continue and possibly rise.

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