Ask Us Now Rocks!

By | February 5, 2016

AUN_logo3Yesterday, we were asked:

Does anyone know the number of kids in carroll county that are home-schooled or go to private school? Just wondering what the trend is with those groups in relation to the declining enrollment problem of public schools.

We thought the answer was that those groups declined too, but didn’t really have time to do the digging. Did you know that there is a free service that WILL take the time? The service is http://askusnow.info/.

AskUsNow! is the statewide interactive information service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that uses the expertise of librarians to provide answers to questions, research guidance, and help navigating the internet. AskUsNow! is a cooperative service of Maryland libraries and available for any resident or student of Maryland.

So, this morning we tried it out! It uses a chat interface to get the answers to simple questions right away. But ours was a bit more complicated, so the librarian, Amanda, asked for an email address. In 45 minutes, we had our answer!

According to a report by the Maryland Department of Planning in 2015, Carroll is one of four counties in Maryland whose enrollment is expected to continue to decline over the next ten years. From the report:

“The projected decline for Carroll County is a continuation of recent trends, where the once fast growing suburban jurisdiction has lost 3,190 students (11.1%) over the last nine years. These drops in enrollment are a product of the substantial slowdown in residential growth in the County during the last eight to 10 years caused by both a moratorium on new residential activity, after some very strong growth in the early 2000s, and development restrictions due to adequate public facility ordinances.  These slowdowns in development activity have also been compounded by the housing bust in more recent years and its negative impact on domestic migration to outer suburban locations.”

http://www.mdp.state.md.us/msdc/School_Enrollment/PublicSchoolEnrollmentProjection_2015_forView.pdf

This report contains a chart entitled “Total (public and private) historical enrollments 2004 – 2014. This chart shows the total school enrollment for Carroll County at 30,505 in 2004, declining steadily to 26,555 in 2014.  Public school enrollment alone fell from 28,576 in 2004 to 25,517 in 2014. This means that public school enrollment fell about 11%. Based on those numbers, the nonpublic school enrollment fell from 1,929 to 1,040. This is a decrease of 46%, much larger than the decrease in public school enrollment. Based on this data and the other information in this report, I would conclude that there is not a shift away from public and toward private/parochial schools, but rather an overall population decline in Carroll County.

As far as home schooling, I could not find data for the number of children who are home schooled in Carroll County. According to the Maryland Home Education Association (http://www.mhea.com), there are about 13,000 families who home school throughout the entire state.  There does not appear to be a major trend toward home schooling in Carroll County.

Thank you for using Maryland AskUsNow! If you have any further questions, please contact us again.

Thanks Amanda!

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