October 5, 2015
An influx of young families with school-age children to a community is a sign of economic health and vitality. It also can be a challenge for central Ohio school districts that already are operating buildings over capacity, and looking at enrollment growth in coming years.
The fact that the Columbus region is experiencing the strongest growth in Ohio is evidenced by the baby (and kid) boom in communities such as Powell, Hilliard and Dublin. Their enrollment surge, along with other population shifts around the state in recent years, turns the longstanding reference to Ohio’s “Big 8” urban school districts on its head: Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati still are the top three, in that order, but Olentangy, South-Western and Hilliard now among the top 10 districts in terms of enrollment. Westerville and Dublin come in at Nos. 11 and 12 statewide, while once-big districts such as Canton and Youngstown have slipped significantly to Nos. 20 and 59 in the state.