Annual Demographic Update

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Moderate Enrollment Decline Projected

At the January 18 regular meeting, RISD trustees heard the annual update of district demographic projections, provided by Davis Demographics. 

Overall, if current factors that impact enrollment remain unchanged, the update projects a decrease of approximately 3,500 resident students in RISD over the next five years, a decline of 9%. According to the Texas Commissioner of Education, overall school enrollment in Texas is expected to decline over the next decade, primarily due to lower birth rates – a trend also reflected nationally.

Other key takeaways of the demographic update include:

  • Affordable multifamily housing options continue to decline in the district, which impacts projected enrollment. 
  • As a landlocked district that is primarily built out, RISD is not projected to receive substantial numbers of additional resident students through current new housing development projects.
  • RISD has a higher than average population of over 65 homeowners, credited to the district’s favorable property tax environment for seniors. The district has more than 8,200 over 65 homeowners whose tax levy is frozen at $0 – meaning they do not pay any school district property taxes. This situation slows turnover of homes to families with school-age children and is a factor impacting enrollment projections.
  • The projections focus primarily on resident students – families residing within RISD boundaries, and do not include possible increases if RISD were to consider an open enrollment plan.

RISD commissions the annual demographic update to assist with long term decisions related to enrollment, budget planning, facilities, and programming. Under the Texas school finance system, K-12 student enrollment and attendance are the primary factors that determine school district revenue. Accordingly, the annual demographic update is scheduled each January as a beginning data point for budget planning and discussions. 

District 2024-25 budget planning and the recent recommendations of the Community Budget Steering Committee have been based in part on projections of a moderate projected enrollment decline over the next decade.

RISD parents and community members are encouraged to learn more by watching the January 18 demographic update here. (En Espanol)

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Trustees Reorganize, Discuss MAP Data, Teacher Survey, Cell Phone Policy

At the June 6 board work session, RISD shared two end of year performance metrics with trustees, including end of year MAP results and data from RISD’s annual climate survey of teachers, which informed a discussion about the district’s cellphone-free policy for students. In addition, trustees were sworn in and reorganized for 2024-25.