The Emptiest Schools In Broward

Well, the school year is underway in earnest fashion. Not including charter schools, which have about 13,000 empty seats, there are about 20,000 empty seats in our regular public schools, according to the recently issued 10-day count numbers.

So I decided to check out the most under-enrolled schools in Broward County. Here are the emptiest schools, complete with the number of vacant permanent seats:

High Schools 

1. Blanche Ely: 1357

2. Dillard High School: 1194

3. Boyd Anderson: 638

4. Stranahan: 613

5. Coral Springs High School: 547

 

Middle Schools

1. Silver Lakes Middle: 537

2. Olsen Middle School: 533

3. Parkway Middle: 497

4. Lauderhill Middle: 491 

5. Apollo Middle School: 412

 

Elementary Schools

1. Tedder: 462

2. Park Trails: 394

3. Pinewood: 394

4. Mary Bethune: 379

5. Walker: 375

6. (tie) Martin Luther King: 349

6. (tie) Thurgood Marshall: 349

 

As you can see, if a school is named  after a black leader, you have a very good chance of 

4. Lauderhill Middle: 491 

5. Apollo Middle School: 412

 

Elementary Schools

1. Tedder: 462

2. Pinewood: 394

3. Mary Bethune: 379

4. Walker: 375

5. (tie) Martin Luther King: 349

5. (tie) Thurgood Marshall: 349

 

As you can see, if a school is named  after a black leader, you have a very good chance of being on this list. Most of the schools are, indeed, black-majority schools but don't make a mistake: There's not a sector in Broward where there aren't thousands of empty seats.

In the case of Dillard High School, you have a beautiful magnet school that doesn't seem to be able to attract many people. It's a place that was recently rebuilt to the tune of $50 million and yet it sits more than 40 percent empty. I'm not going to pretend to understand the reasons for this, other than they seem to boil down to race. But of course if the school board did its job, then the district would be boundaried in such a way that almost have a large newly renovated school wouldn't go to waste.

White families don't want to put their children in Dillard and a lot of black people don't want white students in the place either. So you have a half-ghost school with a beautiful performing arts center and a $2 million sound studio.

(Okay, I was going to add a bit here about Jim Notter's ill-advised and completely unnecessary and expensive ideas to build yet more classroom additions to add more empty seats, but it's not temporally possible so it'll have to be for another day).  

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