Changes in Student Enrollment in Indiana Public School Corporations, 2006-2022 and 2021-2022 to 2022-2023

Changes in Student Enrollment in Indiana Public School Corporations, 2006-2022 and 2021-2022 to 2022-2023

Policy Report #23-AOctober 2023


Dr. Michele Moore, Moaaz Hamid, Dr. Christopher Lubienski
Center for Evaluation and Education Policy, Indiana University

Key Takeaways
  • Trends indicate that there are winners and losers when it comes to enrollment changes.
  • Part of the reason for changing enrollment is the institutional environment that allows student transfers and competition introduced by school choice reforms.
  • Online schools appear to have been significant in boosting enrollment of school corporations, but any causal claim needs further inquiry.

Indiana has undergone significant education policy changes in the last two decades, with a focus on accountability, expanding school choice options, improving teacher evaluation systems, and emphasizing college and career readiness. These changes have transformed the competitive environment in which schools and school corporations operate, impacting schools’ and school corporations’ enrollment. Enrollment trends reflect such changes and provide an opportunity to explore and understand these factors and their impacts.

This report examines the trends in student enrollment in Indiana School corporations/districts as reported by the Indiana Department of Education. The enrollment trends are analyzed over a 16-year period, 2006-2022, as well as the change over the most recent academic year for which data are available, 2022-2023. Fall Average Daily Membership (ADM) counts were used in this analysis. The patterns identified in this report demonstrate a story of “winners” and “losers” in Indiana’s efforts to create a competitive education landscape.

Historical Trends in Indiana

The 286 school corporations whose data are presented were chosen based on the availability of enrollment data. Overall enrollment changes presented in Figure 1 below are for the period of 2006-2022, revealing that about 75 (26%) school corporations experienced an enrollment growth of 5% or more. 20 school corporations (7%) experienced a growth of 5% or less, and 191 school corporations (67%) experienced a loss in enrollment. Table 1 below presents the 25 school corporations with the largest enrollment growth. Interestingly, 14 of the 25 school corporations with the highest enrollment growth are from the Indianapolis metropolitan area.

Figure 1.
Enrollment changes 2006-2022

Enrollment changes 2006-2022

Table 1.
25 school corporations with the largest enrollment growth in numbers from 2006 to 2022 in ADM

Corp NameChange in Enrollment 2006-2022 (N)
Hamilton Southeastern Schools*7,381
Union School Corporation6,762
Westfield-Washington Schools*3,935
Brownsburg Community School Corp*3,446
Franklin Township Com Sch Corp*3,394
Avon Community School Corp*3,299
Zionsville Community Schools*3,086
Noblesville Schools*2,803
Tippecanoe School Corp2,604
Clarksville Community School Corp2,524
Perry Township Schools*2,383
Northwest Allen County Schools2,330
Crown Point Community School Corp2,298
Center Grove Community School Corp*2,278
M S D Wayne Township*1,808
Carmel Clay Schools*1,705
Clark-Pleasant Community Sch Corp*1,655
Plainfield Community School Corp*1,626
M S D Southwest Allen County Schls1,478
Seymour Community Schools1,382
Mt Vernon Community School Corp*1,374
North Central Parke Comm Schl Corp1,194
Hanover Community School Corp1,038
Penn-Harris-Madison School Corp952
Bartholomew Con School Corp909
Note: *Indianapolis Metropolitan Area school corporation.

Table 2 presents the percentage enrollment growth of 25 school corporations whose numbers were presented above. Seven school corporations experienced a growth rate of more than 50%, while the remaining were between 23% and 50%. The two school corporations experiencing the largest percentage growth started online schools that opened between 2018 and 2021. Figure 2 shows the trends in enrollment numbers from 2006 – 2022, which shows that while enrollment in in-person schools within the two school corporations remains approximately constant, the total enrollment gains are from enrollment spikes in online schools post-2018 (i.e., 6795 – 7131 – Indiana Digital Jr and High School, 6795 – 7142 – Indiana Digital Alternative School, 6795 – 7122 – Indiana Digital Elementary, and 1000 – 1007 – Indiana Gateway Digital Academy). 

To reinforce the significance of online schools in these enrollment spikes, it is noteworthy that Union School Corporation, with the highest enrollment increase, has three online schools, two starting in 2019 and one in 2020. Whereas Clarksville Com School Corporation, with the second highest enrollment increase, has only one online school that started in 2022. It is also important to highlight the huge enrollment gap (1252.66%) between the two school corporations with the highest enrollment gains that can be attributed to the number of online schools and their duration of operations. The availability of state-wide data on online schools might also reveal other interesting trends. However, here, it is evident that online schools have played a significant role in boosting enrollment for the two school corporations, whose enrollment gains are markedly higher than gains observed in all other school corporations. 

Table 2.
25 school corporations with the largest percentage enrollment growth from 2006 to 2022 in ADM

Corp Name Change in Enrollment (%) 2006-2022 
Union School Corporation 1420.59 
Clarksville Com School Corp 167.93 
Westfield-Washington Schools* 75.02 
Zionsville Community Schools* 64.02 
Hanover Community School Corp 61.20 
Hamilton Southeastern Schools* 51.87 
Daleville Community Schools 51.26 
Brownsburg Community Sch Corp* 51.23 
Avon Community School Corp* 45.55 
Franklin Township Com Sch Corp* 43.41 
Northwest Allen County Schools 39.80 
Plainfield Community Sch Corp* 39.41 
Mt Vernon Community Sch Corp* 39.24 
Lawrenceburg Com School Corp 36.60 
Barr-Reeve Com Schools Inc 36.56 
Clark-Pleasant Com School Corp* 36.54 
Noblesville Schools* 36.05 
Seymour Community Schools 34.89 
Crown Point Community Sch Corp 33.96 
Center Grove Com Sch Corp* 31.38 
Whiting School City 29.65 
Frankton-Lapel Community Schs 29.34 
Eastern Howard School Corp 25.40 
Tippecanoe School Corp 23.65 
M S D Southwest Allen County 23.18 
Note: *Indianapolis Metropolitan Corporation.

Figure 2.
Enrollment trend 2006 – 2022 in two school corporations

Enrollment trend 2006 – 2022 in two school corporations

Table 3 presents the 20 school corporations with the largest reduction in enrollment numbers, with ten school corporations losing more than 2000 students and ten school corporations losing less than 2000 students. While these numbers do not seem high, when looking at the proportion of reduction in student enrollment in Table 4, we can see that 44 school corporations lost from a quarter to about three-quarters of their enrollment in these 16 years. 

Table 3.
20 school corporations with the greatest number of students from 2006 – 2022

Corp NameChange in Enrollment (N) 2006-2022
1. Indianapolis Public Schools-15,527
2. Gary Community School Corp-11,041
3. South Bend Community Sch Corp-6,417
4. Anderson Community School Corp-3,824
5. School City of Hammond-3,123
6. Fort Wayne Community Schools-2,729
7. School City of East Chicago-2,668
8. Vigo County School Corp-2,633
9. Muncie Community Schools-2,487
10. Elkhart Community Schools-2,171
11. Kokomo-Center Twp Con Sch Corp-1,789
12. North Lawrence Com Schools-1,738
13. Marion Community Schools-1,665
14. Portage Township Schools-1,646
15. Michigan City Area Schools-1,633
16. M S D Martinsville Schools-1,531
17. Huntington Co Com Sch Corp-1,461
18. Jennings County Schools-1,408
19. New Castle Community Sch Corp-1,091
20. Franklin County Com Sch Corp-1,068

Table 4.
School corporations with a percentage loss of enrollment greater than 25%

Corp Name Change in Enrollment (%) 2006-2022 
Gary Community School Corp -73.03% 
Northeast School Corp -48.53% 
Hamilton Community Schools -46.59% 
Eminence Community School Corp -44.46% 
School City of East Chicago -44.34% 
Attica Consolidated Sch Corp -42.89% 
Indianapolis Public Schools -41.35% 
Whitko Community School Corp -39.17% 
Anderson Community School Corp -38.16% 
North Miami Community Schools -36.89% 
North Judson-San Pierre Sch Corp -36.32% 
Western Wayne Schools -36.30% 
Blackford County Schools -34.88% 
South Dearborn Com School Corp -34.51% 
Franklin County Com Sch Corp -34.26% 
Muncie Community Schools -32.87% 
North Lawrence Com Schools -32.20% 
North Newton School Corp -32.01% 
Marion Community Schools -31.02% 
East Gibson School Corporation -30.81% 
Loogootee Community Sch Corp -30.36% 
Oregon-Davis School Corp -30.04% 
Medora Community School Corp -29.77% 
West Central School Corp -29.47% 
South Bend Community Sch Corp -29.35% 
North Putnam Community Schools -29.35% 
Lakeland School Corporation -28.44% 
Lake Ridge Schools -28.19% 
Spencer-Owen Community Schools -27.99% 
North Adams Community Schools -27.84% 
M S D Martinsville Schools -27.42% 
Brown County School Corporation -27.24% 
New Castle Community Sch Corp -27.07% 
Culver Community Schools Corp -27.02% 
Jennings County Schools -26.58% 
Griffith Public Schools -26.56% 
Mitchell Community Schools -26.48% 
M S D Shakamak Schools -26.34% 
Rush County Schools -26.11% 
Crawford Co Com School Corp -26.07% 
Southeast Fountain School Corp -25.53% 
Kokomo-Center Twp Con Sch Corp -25.46% 
Pike County School Corp -25.44% 
Crothersville Community Schools -25.00% 

Table 5. presents 15 school corporations that lost both the highest numbers of students and the percentage of students in the past 16 years.

Table 5.
Top 15 in net number losses in ADM as well as 25% of their student population

Corp NameChange in Enrollment 2006-2022
Indianapolis Public Schools-15,527-41.35%
Gary Community School Corp-11,041-73.03%
South Bend Community Sch Corp-6,417-29.35%
Anderson Community School Corp-3,824-38.16%
School City of East Chicago-2,668-44.34%
Muncie Community Schools-2,487-32.87%
Kokomo-Center Twp Con Sch Corp-1,78925.46%
North Lawrence Com Schools-1,738-32.20%
Marion Community Schools-1,665-31.02%
M S D Martinsville Schools-1,531-27.42%
Jennings County Schools-1,408-26.58%
New Castle Community Sch Corp-1,091-27.07%
Franklin County Com Sch Corp-1,068-34.26%
South Dearborn Com School Corp-1,036-34.51%
Spencer-Owen Community Schools-87027.99%

ADM Trends 2022-2023

While the long-term trends in enrollment are important in revealing patterns over time, yearly shifts in enrollments are important in revealing short-term trends and shifts. This becomes particularly important during unprecedented changes, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. As some semblance of normalcy returns, we are left with changes in enrollment that may have significant long-term and short-term impacts on budgets and the viability of local public schools. Overall, 133 corporations increased enrollment during this period, and 155 school corporations lost enrollment from last year. The enrollment trends in Indiana school corporations presented below reveal ADM trends from 2022-2023. 

Table 6 presents the top 20 school corporations based on their net ADM increase from 2021-22 to 2022-23. There is a marked difference between the enrollment increase in the top two school corporations, which see gains significantly greater than the increases in the remainder of the school corporations. It is noteworthy that these are the two school corporations that have experienced the highest enrollment increase during the past 16 years as well and have a significant proportion of online schools. See Figure 2 for longitudinal trends in school enrollment shifts within these two school corporations. 

Table 6.
Top 20 school corporations based on net ADM increase from 2021-22 to 2022-23

School Corp Net ADM Increase (N) from 2021-22 to 2022-23 
Clarksville Community School Corp 2685 
Union School Corporation 900 
Brownsburg Community School Corp* 373 
Center Grove Community School Corp* 364 
Westfield-Washington Schools* 360 
Madison-Grant United School Corp 299 
Cloverdale Community Schools 280 
Crown Point Community School Corp 243 
Avon Community School Corp* 232 
Northwest Allen County Schools 229 
MSD Lawrence Township* 167 
Mt Vernon Community School Corp* 151 
Silver Creek School Corporation 151 
MSD Wabash County Schools 141 
Lebanon Community School Corp* 135 
Zionsville Community Schools* 122 
Hanover Community School Corp 119 
Concord Community Schools 113 
Southern Hancock Co Com Sch Corp* 107 
Southwest School Corporation 93 
Note: *Indianapolis Metropolitan Corporation.

Table 7 presents the top 22 school corporations by the percentage of enrollment increase. The top six school corporations experienced a greater than 10% increase in enrollment, with the top school corporation having a 200% percent increase in enrollment, followed by gains of 30.43% and 23.69%, respectively. The remaining 16 school corporations experienced enrollment increases ranging from 4% to 9%. 

Table 7.
Top 22 school corporations as per their percentage enrollment increase

School Corp Increase in ADM 2021-22 to 2022-23 (%) 
Clarksville Community School Corp 200.07 
Medora Community School Corp 30.43 
Madison-Grant United School Corp 23.69 
Cloverdale Community Schools 19.91 
Union School Corporation 14.20 
Caston School Corporation 12.08 
MSD of New Durham Township 8.13 
Milan Community Schools 7.42 
West Washington School Corp 7.11 
Argos Community Schools 6.82 
MSD Wabash County Schools 6.64 
Southwestern Con Sch Shelby Co 6.38 
South Henry School Corp 6.21 
Southwest School Corporation 5.64 
Southern Wells Com Schools 5.21 
Silver Creek School Corporation 5.05 
Scott County School District 1 5.02 
Hanover Community School Corp 4.55 
Eastern Howard School Corporation 4.34 
MSD Boone Township 4.18 
Shelby Eastern Schools 4.12 
Westfield-Washington Schools 4.08 

Table 8 presents the school corporations that experienced a decrease in enrollment from 2021-2022 to the 2022-23 School Year. These 20 school corporations experienced the highest enrollment losses, with the top seven school corporations losing 300 or more students, while the remaining 13 school corporations experienced enrollment losses ranging from 134 to 296 students. 

Table 8.
Top 20 school corporations based on greatest enrollment losses from 2021-22 to 2022-23

School Corp Net Decrease (N) from 2021-22 to 2022-23 in ADM 
South Bend Community School Corp -521 
School City of Hammond -452 
Clark-Pleasant Community Sch Corp -440 
MSD Washington Township -390 
Perry Township Schools -380 
Elkhart Community Schools -340 
New Albany-Floyd Co Con Sch -300 
Gary Community School Corp -296 
Anderson Community School Corp -274 
MSD Wayne Township -257 
MSD Pike Township -244 
North Lawrence Com Schools -227 
Portage Township Schools -219 
Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp -202 
Fort Wayne Community Schools -165 
Penn-Harris-Madison School Corp -153 
Vigo County School Corp -153 
School City of Mishawaka -146 
Carmel Clay Schools -143 
Jennings County School Corporation -134 

Table 9 below presents the top 20 school corporations based on percentage enrollment losses during the 2021-22 to 2022-23 school year. The top two school corporations experienced an enrollment loss of more than 10%. The proceeding seven school corporations experienced an enrollment loss between 5% and 9%, whereas the remaining 11 experienced an enrollment loss ranging from about 4% to 5%. 

Table 9.
Top 20 school corporations based on percentage enrollment losses during the 2021-22 to 2022-23 school year

School Corp Net Decrease 2021-22 to 2022-23 (%) 
Attica Consolidated School Corp -12.01% 
North Miami Community Schools -10.26% 
Crothersville Community Schools -8.51% 
Cannelton City Schools -8.37% 
Gary Community School Corp -6.77% 
Clark-Pleasant Community Sch Corp -6.46% 
Peru Community Schools -6.36% 
Western Wayne Schools -6.24% 
White River Valley School District -6.17% 
North Lawrence Com Schools -5.84% 
Smith-Green Community Schools -4.95% 
East Washington School Corp -4.94% 
School City of Whiting -4.84% 
Northeast Dubois Co Sch Corp -4.79% 
North Newton School Corp -4.79% 
Delphi Community School Corp -4.76% 
Rochester Community School Corp -4.61% 
Lakeland School Corporation -4.58% 
Anderson Community School Corp -4.23% 
Pioneer Regional School Corp -4.08% 

School Corporations with less than 1,000 Students

At the legislative level, there has been much discussion about the substantial number of school corporations with small student populations. Currently, there are 54 school corporations with less than 1,000 students. All but seven of those school corporations lost student enrollment from 2006-2022. Table 10 presents the change in ADM in numbers and percentages of these 54 school corporations over the past 16 years, from 2006 to 2022. All these school corporations, except seven, experienced a loss in enrollment over the past 16 years. 

Table 10.
ADM change from 2006 – 2022 in 54 school corporations with less than 1000 students

School Corporation 2022-23 ADM (N) 2006 ADM (N) Change in ADM (N) Change in ADM as a Percent of Total Enrollment (%) 
Southeast Fountain School Corp 989 1,328 -339 -25.53 
Fremont Community Schools 985 1,206 -221 -18.33 
Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Corp 972 1,147 -175 -15.26 
Rossville Con School District 960 1,006 -46 -4.57 
South Central Com School Corp 950 849 101 11.90 
Triton School Corporation 946 1,116 -170 -15.23 
M S D of New Durham Township 944 830 114 13.73 
Pioneer Regional School Corp 941 1,048 -107 -10.21 
West Washington School Corp 934 1020 -86 -8.43 
North Judson-San Pierre Sch Corp 931 1462 -531 -36.32 
Randolph Eastern School Corp 928 1055 -127 -12.04 
Orleans Community Schools 908 847 61 7.20 
North White School Corp 900 1055 -155 -14.69 
Southern Wells Com Schools 889 821 68 8.28 
Covington Community School Corp 888 991 -103 -10.39 
Clinton Central School Corporation 867 1098 -231 -21.04 
South Newton School Corp 862 969 -107 -11.04 
Wes-Del Community Schools 861 880 -19 -2.16 
Bloomfield School District 858 1112 -254 -22.84 
Culver Community Schools Corp 840 1151 -311 -27.02 
Edinburgh Community School Corp 838 895 -57 -6.37 
Springs Valley Com School Corp 837 980 -143 -14.59 
Caston School Corporation 835 833 0.24 
Northeast Dubois Co Sch Corp 834 964 -130 -13.49 
Rising Sun-Ohio Co Com 825 980 -155 -15.82 
Cowan Community School Corp 791 651 140 21.51 
Tri-Central Community Schools 787 1046 -259 -24.76 
Jac-Cen-Del Community Sch Corp 773 968 -195 -20.14 
Northeast School Corp 770 1496 -726 -48.53 
North Miami Community Schools 770 1220 -450 -36.89 
Tri-County School Corporation 765 813 -48 -5.90 
South Henry School Corp 753 818 -65 -7.95 
Western Wayne Schools 751 1179 -428 -36.30 
Loogootee Community Sch Corp 750 1077 -327 -30.36 
White River Valley School District 745 901 -156 -17.31 
Lanesville Community School Corp 744 654 90 13.76 
East Gibson School Corporation 721 1042 -321 -30.81 
Argos Community Schools 689 703 -14 -1.99 
M S D Shakamak Schools 674 915 -241 -26.34 
North Vermillion Com Sch Corp 673 826 -153 -18.52 
Frontier School Corporation 671 831 -160 -19.25 
Shoals Community School Corp 669 714 -45 -6.30 
Blue River Valley Schools 642 832 -190 -22.84 
West Central School Corp 639 906 -267 -29.47 
Southwestern Con Sch Shelby Co 634 744 -110 -14.78 
Attica Consolidated School Corp 542 949 -407 -42.89 
Randolph Southern School Corp 522 655 -133 -20.31 
Oregon-Davis School Corp 496 709 -213 -30.04 
Crothersville Community Schools 441 588 -147 -25.00 
Hamilton Community Schools 352 659 -307 -46.59 
Tri-Township Cons School Corp 337 395 -58 -14.68 
Eminence Community School Corp 306 551 -245 -44.46 
Cannelton City Schools 219 249 -30 -12.05 
Medora Community School Corp 210 299 -89 -29.77 

In theory, students should generally be transferred to more effective schools (Walberg & Bast, 2003), although it is not clear from these data that this is always the case. 

These data show several trends indicating that many Indiana schools are experiencing significant enrollment instability. In some respects, this is to be expected, as policymakers have laid the legislative groundwork for a system in which public school corporations, charter school organizations, and even private schools could poach students from each other as they are incentivized to improve, innovate, or market themselves, or otherwise face severe if not fatal financial repercussions. However, given mounting evidence, transferring students is often not moving to more effective alternatives, and these policies overall may be increasing forms of student sorting (Abdulkadiroglu et al., 2017; Bifulco & Ladd, 2007; Lubienski et al., 2022). Parents, policymakers, and voters should also consider the relative costs of these policies that create winners and losers in the education marketplace. 


Abdulkadiroglu, A., Pathak, P. A., Schellenberg, J., & Walters, C. R. (2017). Do Parents Value School Effectiveness? (23912).

Bifulco, R., & Ladd, H. F. (2007). School choice, racial segregation, and test-score gaps: Evidence from North Carolina’s charter school program*. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 26(1), 31–56.

Lubienski, C., Perry, L. B., Kim, J., & Canbolat, Y. (2022). Market models and segregation: examining mechanisms of student sorting. Comparative Education, 58(1), 16–36.

Walberg, H. J., & Bast, J. L. (Joseph L. (2003). Education and capitalism : how overcoming our fear of markets and economics can improve America’s schools. Hoover Institution Press.