New Report Shows Strong Growth in MD and DC Orthodox Jewish Day Schools, Sharp Decline in Non-Orthodox Schools
Groundbreaking new report provides unprecedented fidelity on past enrollment data and future enrollment projections in Maryland and DC Jewish day schools.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Gabriel Aaronson
[Silver Spring, MD, May 25, 2020-] On Monday, Great Consulting LLC released a report showing consistent growth in Orthodox Jewish day schools in Maryland and DC over the past fifteen years, coupled with consistent decline in enrollment in non-Orthodox day schools.
According to the report, overall Jewish day school enrollment in Maryland and DC peaked in 2006 at 8,325 K-12 students, declined until 2012 to a nadir of 7,631 student, and has since recovered to 8,177 students in 2019.
Digging deeper, however, shows consistent enrollment growth for the Orthodox schools and consistent enrollment decline for the non-Orthodox schools. In 2005, enrollment in Orthodox schools (4,333 students) was roughly on par with enrollment in non-Orthodox schools (3,890 students). By 2019, enrollment in Orthodox schools was more than double enrollment at non-Orthodox schools (5,840 and 2,287 students, respectively).
The report also includes projections for day school enrollment through 2035 based on past enrollment trends. According to Gabriel Aaronson, owner of Great Consulting LLC and author of the report, these projections confirm the enrollment challenges facing both Orthodox and non-Orthodox schools.
"Whereas Orthodox schools need to figure out where to get the money, space, and teachers for 4,000-4,800 new students over the next fifteen years, non-Orthodox schools need to figure out how to avoid losing a projected 500 to 1,700 students in the same timeframe," Aaronson said.
Aaronson acknowledged the uncertainty of future day school enrollment trends given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Jewish education. Aaronson said, "This report will be especially valuable for researchers interested in how COVID-19 has impacted the educational choices of day school parents. Now that we know where enrollment trends have been and where they seemed to be headed absent COVID-19, we can see how COVID-19 has shifted that trajectory."
Of particular interest to Jewish day school administrators, board members, and parents is the report's detailed enrollment dashboards for each of the 14 largest Jewish schools in Maryland and DC. For each school, the dashboards show grade level enrollment from 2005-2019, annual gains or losses, and annual attrition rates at the school and grade level.
Gabriel Aaronson thanked several contributors for their feedback on and recommendations to improve the report. He thanked Jessica Trisko Darden of American University, Marc Wolf of the Prizmah Center for Jewish Day Schools, Amian Kelemer of the Louise D. and Morton J. Macks Center for Jewish Education, and Sharon Freundel and Rabbi Shmuel Feld of the Jewish Education Innovation Challenge.
This report on enrollment trends in Maryland is intended to be the first of many. "It would be relatively straightforward to duplicate this report for any state where the government maintains administrative data on private school enrollment. California, New Jersey, and New York are good candidates," Aaronson said. "I intend to move onto those next, time and funding permitting."
A digital version of the full report is available for free at: greatconsultingllc.com/jewishenrollment
Hard copies may be ordered for $40 each by emailing
Great Consulting LLC is a communications, political, and IT consulting firm led by Gabriel Aaronson, who has nearly a decade of experience researching and advocating for Jewish day schools.