Sonora, CA — The school enrollment in both Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties is down this year.
In Tuolumne County, 5,888 students are enrolled this school year, compared to 6,245 last year.
“For about the last 15 years there has been a subtle, but steady, decline in numbers,” says Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools Joe Silva. “I attend meetings on a regular basis with other county superintendents, and in the rural counties school enrollment is going down across the state. My sense is, in our county, people that have young families are leaving the area because there are no jobs for them, and they are going to other areas with jobs.”
Numbers requested from the California Department of Education show that Tuolumne County’s school enrollment was 8,484 during the 1997-98 school year, and it has generally declined since. There were three years during that span where the numbers edged up slightly, but then proceeded to drop back down.
Calaveras County enrollment is down to 5,809 this school year, as compared to 5,959 last year. Calaveras has seen a similar decline over recent years. The number peaked at 7,469 in 1996-97.
School enrollment numbers are significant in that they determine how much funding school districts receive.