While the official enrollment count for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education won't be done until Sept. 30, a preliminary count shows enrollment in Mexico schools is lower than last year.
This year on Sept. 4, there were 2,306 students enrolled. In the last school year, there were 2,404 students enrolled in September. By January 2013, however, there were fewer than 2,300 students in the district.
"Since January 1999, when enrollment was more than 2,600 students, we have lost students almost every year," Superintendent of Schools Kevin Freeman said. "Obviously there were economic forces at play that caused people to move from the community as brick plants and other industries closed or left. This economic issue is tied to the city and county health and growth."
Freeman thinks as the city and county grow, so will the school district. "We need the city and county to have a growing economy, adding jobs, just as they need the school system to have great schools so people want to move here for their children."
The superintendent also acknowledges that businesses want a well-trained work force as well. "We are doing everything we can to give our young people the education they need to compete in this nation and world for jobs and college admissions," he said. "Our goals are to teach students to read, to have to programs and to prepare students for whatever comes next after high school graduation."