Enrollment numbers for Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) are kind of a big deal…as those numbers drive some funding for our school system. The February 2021 report showed an increase of 128 students from the previous month (finally an increase in enrollment numbers). This brings the total of 1,670 students lower than what was reported in September 2019 for HCPSS. This is also 2,204 students less that what was reported in February 2020 (59,402).

Recently here in Howard County we saw a big drop in enrollment in 2020 (Howard County Public School System enrollment drops by more than 1,500 students between 2019 and 2020) with a drop of 1,575 students between 2019 and 2020 (Annual reports). The October 2020 report showed a drop in enrollment of 49 students. The November report showed another drop in enrollment of 55 students. The December 2020 report showed a further drop in enrollment of 55 students. The January 2021 report showed a further drop in enrollment of 64 students.

Here is a look at the annual year by year report numbers:

Looking at this a little deeper between January 2021 and February 2021:

  • Elementary Schools Enrollment:  Jan: 25,252 |  Feb: 25,334 (+82)
  • Middle School Enrollment: Jan: 13,605 | Feb: 13,632 (+27)
  • High School Enrollment: Jan: 18,098 | Feb: 18,117 (+19)
  • Special School Enrollment: Jan: 115 | Feb: 115 (No change)

The Howard County School System began a phased in approach to in-person learning announced in January and began on March 1st
(Howard County Board of Education Approves Schedule for HCPSS 2020-2021 Hybrid In-Person Model). We may now see a continued increase in enrollment given this approach to educating students. I will continue to watch the monthly reports.

If you want to know why enrollment numbers are kind of a big deal…be sure to read this report about funding recommendations:

Howard County Releases Spending Affordability Advisory Committee Report for FY 2022

Scott E


  1. It only a big deal if you believe Tzuker: ““there are only three choices: raising taxes (which are already high), cutting expenditure or services, or growing tax base in a long run.”  I don’t buy it.


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