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As Oregon birth rates fall, so does enrollment at PPS district [Video]

Recent data shows Portland Public Schools attendance continues to fall — as birth rates decrease statewide.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Recent data shows that Oregon continues to deal with low birth rates. The problem is particularly pronounced in Multnomah County. In 2012, more than 9,000 kids were born county-wide. By 2022, that number dropped by almost 2,000 children.

“We have been projecting a long-run decline just on the basis of birth rates and overall growth in the city slowing down,” Ethan Sharygin, the Portland State University (PSU) Population Research Center director, said.

Low birth rates are a problem for schools, Sharygin said. Funding is largely tied to student enrollment.

“The outgoing classes are just so much larger than the incoming classes have been,” Sharygin said.

PSU research shows from 2019-2023, Portland Public Schools (PPS) attendance dropped 9.1%. Statewide, enrollment dropped 6%.

“One of the big concerns is what does it mean for PPS’s finances?” Sharygin said.

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