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Rush of migrant students to Denver schools ‘slowing down’

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(The Center Square) – Denver Public Schools set aside $24 million to address the cost of the arrival of migrant students and is expecting an increase in government funding for the new arrivals from between $2 million to $5 million starting in 2024-25.

That’s according to a report the school board reviewed last week.

The number of newly-arrived students has increased from about 1,000 in August 2023 to 2,867 in January, and 3,402 in February. That number jumped to 3,767 in March. Total enrollment has increased from 84,327 in February to 84,458 in March.

DPS released the newest update, which shows the school has hit a peak of “new arrival” students, a 93% increase from the previous year. At the same time, additional funding is being requested throughout the district.

The district said shelters housing migrants are closing over the next few weeks and the district is working with families to see if students will remain enrolled.

“According to the district executive director of enrollment and planning, as of last week, there were 3,767 active new-to-country students, and things have been slowing down for the first time since very early in the school year,” the district wrote in an email to The Center Square.

The Denver Public Schools Foundation, a non-profit, gave $250,000 to the district to help cover costs of the arriving migrants, according to the report.

The school issued $1.3 million of additional funding to support the extended needs across the district.

The district claims the city’s housing policy is the main driving factor behind enrollment changes. The city is continuing to conduct shelter closings throughout the city, which will impact enrollment and whether families will remain enrolled at current schools or re-enroll in schools closer to new shelter placements.

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