An Alternative K-12 Enrollment Forecast for Older Neighborhoods
Shelley Lapkoff, Lapkoff & Gobalet Demographic Research, Inc.
Many school districts’ clients are concerned about enrollment increases in older neighborhoods consisting of SFUs (single family units, or houses). Usually these neighborhoods have stable, low enrollments, but sometimes there are enrollment increases. Can we predict which neighborhoods will experience enrollment increases, when they will experience them and what the magnitude of the increases will be? The traditional cohort survival approach to forecast school enrollments typically misses enrollment increases, because migration trends (expressed through grade progressions and kindergarten/birth ratios) are usually assumed to continue. This paper presents an alternative to the cohort survival forecast method. Our alternative method is a modification of the Housing Unit Method (HUM) and focuses on houses’ length of ownership. The distribution of homes by length of ownership is forecasted, and the number of homes in each category is multiplied by the appropriate student yield in order to forecast enrollments.