Hamilton Schools enrollment tops 42,000 for first time - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Hamilton Schools enrollment tops 42,000 for first time

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)-  For the first time since the 1997 merger of Chattanooga and Hamilton County schools, enrollment has topped the 42,000 mark.  20th day enrollment numbers released Thursday show a total enrollment of 42,236, an increase of 286 students from the same time last year.

Superintendent Rick Smith says, "In fact, that might be a little low.  Those numbers were recorded this week, when some students couldn't get to school because of flooding issues.  So we may even be a little ahead of that."

The flight to suburban schools, created in part by No Child Left Behind, is continuing.  The federal law, which allows students to flee the low-performing schools in their zone has created enrollment increases and overcrowding in suburban schools that are paired with the zoned schools.

Signal Mountain High School is beneficiary of the largest increase, with 108 more students than last year, many of whom formerly attended Howard School.  Ooltewah High is up 84 students from 2010, receiving many students from Brainerd High, which is down 162 students from last year.  Brainerd's enrollment is down 275 students since 2008.

Ooltewah Middle School gained 79 students since last year, with Hixson Middle School close behind at 71 new students.  Signal Mountain Middle's enrollment increased by 50 from last year.

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