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D.C. Schools To Face Wave of Young Students

From guest blogger Alyssa Morones

Here's a bit of a paradox: Even as the District of Columbia prepares to close 15 public schools, the city will have to find space for a major influx of children entering the school system.

The Associated Press reports this week that, based on the Census Bureau's latest American Community Survey, 33,000 more children will be entering school over the next five years.

According to the survey, over one quarter of all youths age 19 and younger living in Washington between 2007 and 2011 were under the age of 5. This population boom resulted from the increased number of young adults moving to the city throughout the last decade, Peter Tatian of the Urban Institute told AP.

This growth could prove troublesome for area schools. While some are riddled with empty seats, schools in other neighborhoods would fill past capacity as this new generation of students reaches school age.

This report comes in the wake of rising numbers of school closings in urban districts across the nation, including Washington. Groups and citizens in these cities have debated how effective school closings actually are at improving district finances and school quality. Protestors from 18 cities recently gathered at the U.S. Department of Education building to communicate the real effects of school closings in their communities and to call for a moratorium on school closings. They called attention to the civil rights implications school closings have for racial minorities.

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