School enrollment figures can be used to estimate the size of the school-age population. A comparison of public school enrollment in Arizona in 1999 and 2000 to the 2000 decennial census counts indicates that just more than 90 percent of the children between the ages of 6 and 14 were enrolled in grades 1 through 9 at public schools. Some children are home schooled while others go to private schools.
Public school enrollment from preschool through grade 12 is reported as of October 1. Until 2008, concurrent enrollment in more than one school (for example, at a traditional high school and at a vocational school) was multiply counted. Since then, students are counted only once.
Enrollment figures are presented on Arizona Indicators since 1999 for the United States, Arizona, and the 15 Arizona counties. For the state, the change in “cohort size” enrollment also is shown, calculated as the difference between the number of students enrolled in one grade in one year to the number enrolled in the next grade in the following year. This calculation provides a more accurate means of estimating net migration.
For Arizona and the counties, limited data prior to 1999 are available from the source, with the enrollment counts typically released in the spring. The national data are slow to be released.
The county enrollments do not sum to the state total since some children are enrolled in special programs through the Department of Juvenile Corrections or the Department of Education that are not allocated to a county.
Due to the change from multiple reporting of students to an unduplicated count in 2008, the enrollment figures reported for fall 2008 (and subsequent years) cannot be compared to those for fall 2007 (and prior years). Apart from this change in methodology, caution is urged in using these data as a time series due to reporting errors. Significant errors are present in some years, particularly in the less populous counties. The quality of reporting has improved over time, but errors may still be present in the figures.
Enrollment figures for the state also are released by the NCES. In some years, the NCES figures are identical to, or nearly the same as, the figures from the Arizona Department of Education. In other years, however, the figures are substantially different. The figures reported on the Arizona Department of Education website are believed to be more accurate.
Arizona Department of Education, Research and Evaluation Section http://www.ade.az.gov/ResearchPolicy/ and, for national data, U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Digest of Education Statistics http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/.