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South Bay Unified enrollment tanks

District leaders say several factors are contributing to the decline in enrollment like housing costs, low birth rates and COVID-19.

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif — Schools part of the South Bay Unified School District are losing enrollment. 

“Our district in particular is expected to lose about 50 percent of the students that we’ve had since 2011,” South Bay Union School District Superintendent Jose Espinoza said. 

Espinoza tells CBS 8 that there are several factors that contribute to this decline in enrollment like housing costs and low birth rates. 

“Our community is, I believe, is of an age where they don’t really have school-aged children as much and so all those things working together have definitely created a student decline,” Espinoza said. 

The COVID-19 pandemic made a huge impact on the amount of students enrolled in the district. 

“Parents started to explore options for home schooling or other options that are out there for them,” Espinoza said. 

A committee made up of staff, administrators and parents came together to look into the declining enrollment and come up with solutions to be presented at town halls where the community can give their input and express their concerns.  

The board will meet in a special board meeting on May 20 to review feedback and recommendations from the Asset Management Superintendent’s Advisory Committee.

“Depending on what the board decides, we will then bring it back for action,” Espinoza said.  

If there are any plans of downsizing schools, the district does not expect any consolidations until the 2025-2026 school year. 

“We don’t have that information at this time because we’re just in the exploring process right,” Espinoza said.

For more details on the planning process visit

The next townhall meetings throughout the month of April: 

  • Wednesday, April 17 at 5:30 p.m. at Nestor Language Academy 

  • Wednesday, April 24 at 5:30 p.m. at Central School 

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