VERMILION COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Danville schools have lost about 500 students in the last three years, and they’re not alone. A lot of schools in the county are seeing a drop. There’s been a 14 percent decrease in students county-wide in the past decade. Danville school leaders think part of it is the amount of people moving out of the state, but no one knows exactly why.
Some school leaders think birth rates could be lower. Georgetown, Westville, and Hoopeston have fewer students. Westville schools are down 15 students from last year.
There are a couple of other districts seeing the opposite. Armstrong Township’s attendance is up. Salt Fork schools are also growing.
“I think this community has always been a very desirable community to live in. When houses come up for sale, they don’t stay on the market very long. Our schools have always been… our community’s always been very pleased with the schools, and we’ve always had a good reputation in the area,” said Salt Fork Schools Superintendent Phil Cox.
Salt Fork district leaders say expanded their pre-k program this year. That also contributed to their increase in students.
To give you some perspective on some of these numbers: Danville School District’s total enrollment is 5,401 this year. In 2018, it was 5,921. Salt Fork, on the other hand, grew by 14 students, but the entire district only has 908.