The Jefferson Iowa News®


  Student Enrollment in Greene Co. Continues to Slide

According to the most recent available figures, student enrollment in the Greene County area, and Jefferson in particular, continues to decline at a rate not seen in other nearby counties and school districts. The Iowa Department of Education has released its annual report of enrolled resident students by district for the 2009-10 year. These figures are important in that they are used for determining the Iowa School Finance Formula Calculations. This census is taken the 1st of October every year.

The numbers indicate that the Jefferson school district has been losing students at the rate of about 25 per year over the past ten years. In the 2000-01 school year, 1,253 resident students were reported in the district. By 2009-10, that number had fallen to 1,025. Approximately 900 of these students reside in and around Jefferson; the rest in Scranton. When these numbers are divided by the 13 grade levels, you arrive at an average class size of 78, as opposed to 97 in 2000-01. Excluding Scranton students, the average grade size would be 69 - slightly more than half the size of classes 30 years ago.

These numbers represent a decrease of 18.2% for the Jefferson-Scranton school district. By contrast, over the same time span, the Carroll district shows a decrease of just 5%, while the Denison district is up 18.3%. Closer to home, the Perry district is up 5.0% and the Ogden district is up 0.7%. Panorama also shows an increase. The only other notable decrease similar to Jefferson's in the area is East Greene, where they report a 13.1% decrease in resident student enrollment.

These numbers are part of an ongoing, long-term trend which must conclude with more school mergers in the near future. The figures cited in this article may be viewed at  

 Spencer Straight, 01-25-2010