The state superintendent said enrollment numbers in public schools statewide are down and the Department of Education is now left trying to figure out where those students have gone.
Superintendent Dr. James Phares reported to a Joint Committee on Education, student enrollment has decreased by more than 1,200 student since last year.
Harrison County led the enrollment decrease losing 283 in the last five years.
Phares said the state department is going to begin an internal study of all of the possible factors for declining numbers to present to the legislature in December.
“We know our dropout rate is decreasing so we don’t think that it’s because of an increased drop out rate,” he said.
“We don’t the affect that perhaps some of the surrounding online virtual schools (have had), but we’re going to check to see if there’s been a move to that or home school or if it’s because they moved out of state..”
Berkeley County, however, is on the opposite end of the spectrum. It leads the state in growth, adding 775 students to its system in the 2013-2014 school year.