Data from 33 U.S. states shows that K-12 public school enrollment has dropped across those states by more than 500,000 students, or 2%, since the same time last year.
That is a significant shift considering that enrollment overall in those states has typically gone up by about half a percent in recent years.
The data obtained by Chalkbeat and The Associated Press offers the clearest picture yet of the pandemic’s devastating toll on public school enrollment. The decline could eventually have dire consequences for already stressed school budgets that are based on headcounts.
Even more alarming, educators say, is that some of the students who left may not be in school at all.