My article on the churn at Marshall Elementary focused mainly on economic factors that force some City Heights families to move a lot. But one of our readers, Russ Connelly, pointed out another big factor in student transiency rates in San Diego: Military families.

We first wrote about this issue a few years back when legislators were weighing an interstate agreement to smooth graduation requirements for military kids:

Military transfer students are so common at Farb Middle School that it trains its students as “ambassadors” to show new kids the ropes at the Tierrasanta school, which estimates that only 50 percent of its students remain from year to year, and nearby Hancock Elementary is almost entirely populated by military children. … Scholars from the U.S. Military Academy recently found that children suffer lingering academic shortfalls when a parent is deployed, and the longer the parent is deployed, the worse the effect. In addition, the average military child changes school systems at least six times.

And you’ll notice on our interactive map of student transiency rates that some of the schools with the highest churn are near military housing. Know of other factors that could explain why some schools have more transient students than others? Please post them here on the blog!

Please contact Emily Alpert directly at or 619.550.5665 and follow her on Twitter:

Emily Alpert was formerly the education reporter for Voice of San Diego.

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