School District Reaches Historic Enrollment

School District Reaches Historic Enrollment
Posted on 11/01/2023
School District Reaches Historic Enrollment

The School District of Lee County has topped 100,000 students for the first time in its history. Total enrollment reported by the Florida Department of Education for the 2023-2024 school year is 102,791 students in PreK through 12th grade. In just District operated schools, the official enrollment number is 89,337.

“The continued growth in enrollment speaks to the high quality of education we offer in the School District of Lee County,” says Superintendent Dr. Christopher Bernier. “We know families want to move to an area with good schools for their children, and our teachers, administrators and support staff have created educational environments that draw them in. We are pleased to be such a central part of our community’s growth and stand ready to welcome even more students in the future.”

In just one year, total enrollment has grown by 3,347 students. District operated schools have 2,604 more students than they did in October 2022, while charter schools have 833 more. Enrollment in District operated schools has increased by more than 6,000 students in the last five years and 9,000 students in the last eight. Compared to eight years ago, charter school enrollment is up 819 students.

School Year Total Enrollment District Operated School Enrollment Charter School Enrollment
2016-2017 92,682 80,269 12,423
2017-2018 93,221 81,456 11,865
2018-2019 94,417 83,076 11,341
2019-2020  95,616  84,292  11,324
2020-2021  94,927  83,605  11,322
2021-2022  97,264  85,162  12,102
2022-2023  99,354  86,733  12,621
2023-2024  102,791  89,337  13,454

To match the growth, the District is currently in the midst of a building boom. 700 student stations were added to Lehigh Senior High School in 2019. Gateway High School and the new Lehigh Acres Middle School opened in 2021. Amanecer Elementary and Lemuel Teal Middle School opened in August 2023. The School Board of Lee County recently approved the Phase One pre-construction costs for a new middle school and new high school in Lehigh Acres. The Board also approved replacing Hector A. Cafferata Jr. Elementary with a K-8 to increase capacity in Cape Coral. More new schools are in the District’s ten-year capital plan. The construction projects are made possible by the half-cent sales tax approved by voters in November 2018 to help the School District meet its capital improvement needs.

The 2023-2024 enrollment figures rank Lee County the eighth largest district in Florida and among the 30 largest school districts in the United States.