SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah's public schools have enrolled more than 600,000 students for the first time ever.
A new headcount released Friday shows the state's K-12 population is now 600,985, which is a 2.2 percent gain compared with 2011.
Charter schools are also seeing growth. The number of students in those schools has topped 50,000 for the first time, and grew 15.4 percent in the past year.
State education department spokesman Mark Peterson says school growth slowed during the economic downturn, but appears to be on the rebound.
Peterson says the state is seeing greater ethnic diversity, with minority students now making up 23 percent of the population. Utah also faces new challenges with a third of its students coming from low-income homes.
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