Enrollment in District 65 schools dropped about one percent this fall from last year.

A school district report says the decline occurred primarily among black students and students with limited English proficiency. The report speculates that the decline may result from the federal government’s increased focus on illegal immigration and on the district’s requirement that all families prove residency each year.

This year’s enrollment decline is smaller than that seen in the previous two years. Enrollment of pre-primary through eighth grade students this fall is 6,234, down 8 percent from the 6,768 recorded in the 2003-04 school year.

In the elementary schools the district says this year 43 percent of the students are white, 35 percent are black, 15 percent are Hispanic, 6 percent are Asian and less than 1 percent are multi-racial.

Last year 43 percent were white, 37 percent were black, 14 percent were Hispanic, 6 percent were Asian and 1 percent were multi-racial.

The full report is available from the school district’s web site.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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