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Iowa City Schools Enrollment up 321 Students

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IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Iowa City school district's enrollment report for this school year makes official what everyone already knew: the district is growing at fast rate.

The district's certified enrollment is 12,774 students, an increase of 321 students, or 2.6 percent, over last year.

Enrollment is a big issue in the district right now. The district has struggled to build enough new schools and renovate existing ones to handle an increase of more than 1,000 students since 2007.

The school board has called a Feb. 5 special election for a public vote on a revenue purpose statement that would determine how sales tax revenue collected by the district is spent.

That 1 percent sales tax is in effect until 2029, and the district already has a revenue purpose statement that lasts until 2017. Officials want a new one so they can borrow ahead on sales tax funds past 2017.

Up to $100 million would be available to the district if voters approve the measure. Officials have said that money could go toward the construction of three elementary schools, a high school and additions at other buildings. Some parents, however, are calling on the district to be more specific on how the money would be spent.

The enrollment report shows a head count of 1,956 students at West High, which is above its 1,800-student capacity. City High has 1,414 students and a capacity of 1,600.

Overcrowding also is a concern at elementary schools in North Liberty and eastern Iowa City.