Eanes ISD sees dip in enrollment numbers

Eanes ISD trustees met Oct. 20 for a board meeting. (Courtesy Eanes ISD)
Eanes ISD trustees met Oct. 20 for a board meeting. (Courtesy Eanes ISD)

Eanes ISD trustees met Oct. 20 for a board meeting. (Courtesy Eanes ISD)

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect that enrollment numbers at Eanes ISD decreased by 224 students.

Eanes ISD has seen receding enrollment numbers as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to an update from Deputy Superintendent Jeff Arnett during an Oct. 20 board meeting.

As of the day prior, total enrollment was reported at 7,938—a 224-student decrease from the 2019-20 school year, Arnett said.

In September, Arnett noted enrollment numbers were particularly fluid heading into the 2020-21 school year. The district initially projected 2020-21 enrollment around 8,162 based on the previous year’s demographic study; however, the numbers have changed considerably since the summer.

“This is not unique to Eanes ISD,” Superintendent Tom Leonard said, adding that nearby Austin ISD and Leander ISD have also seen a drop in students.

A majority of the decline was seen at the lower levels, and Leonard said that could be the result of parents possibly delaying school due to the pandemic.

The Texas Education Agency requires districts to report student withdrawals in grades seven through 12, according to Arnett, who said EISD went a step further in evaluating its full enrollment data.

Per that data, 18 students left the district to engage in homeschool and 12 left for an online program. A drop in 48 students was also attributed to parents delaying kindergarten for the 2020-21 school year, according to Arnett.

An additional 46 students either relocated out of the state or country ahead of the school year’s start.

EISD lost 46 students to a private school district but gained an additional 74 students from private schools, according to the data.

Enrollment numbers play a role in ISD funding; however, according to Leonard, the TEA has taken a “hold harmless approach” amid the pandemic. Until at least January, EISD will not lose state funding as a result of declining enrollment numbers.
By Amy Rae Dadamo
Amy Rae Dadamo is the reporter for Lake Travis-Westlake, where her work focuses on city government and education. Originally from New Jersey, Amy Rae relocated to Austin after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2019.