New York public school enrollment drops nearly 2%

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Enrollment in the city’s public schools has fallen nearly 2% this school year – with schools in the city losing about 17,000 students in the first year that classrooms have been fully reopened without a remote option since the start of the pandemic.

Total enrollment in public non-charter schools is 938,000, according to new city data, down 1.9% from the 960,000 students on school records last year.

Still, this year’s drop in enrollment is considerably smaller than last year — when the public school population fell by about 4.7 percent. Enrollment has fallen in the school system every year since 2016 — between half a percentage point and two points — but last year’s drop, which came as schools offered students a mix of learning in person and online, was unusually large.

“From day one of this pandemic, our school leaders and educators have met the needs of New York City students at every turn, and we are supporting schools with unprecedented investments and keeping them safe for enrollment changes. this year,” DOE spokesperson Katie O’Hanlon “As the nation’s largest school district, we have been impacted by fluctuating enrollment nationwide that has impacted schools across the country, and this data shows that enrollment is stabilizing as we continue our city’s incredible recovery.”

Elected officials had demanded the city release enrollment numbers — or at least the number of students attending schools each day — over the past few weeks, amid questions about whether the pandemic and the city’s response to this one had pushed the parents to leave the system.

Some proponents of distance learning had predicted that parents would leave for schools offering a virtual option. And other supporters of returning to an all-normal classroom have warned that families will be leaving for systems without mask mandates or strict quarantine rules. But the figures show an exodus less than half that of last year.

Funding for individual schools has always been tied to the number of students enrolled, but, continuing a policy that began after an outcry from parents last year, the Department for Education said it would not cut funding schools whose population has decreased this year.

Average school attendance in the city was 89 percent, which is below the ninety-one point six percent five-year average before the pandemic. Some parents who want a remote option have kept their children at home without unenrolling them – but it’s unclear how many still do. The DOE says it has not moved to de-enroll these children.

Earlier this year, Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter said the city would work with families who were afraid to send their children to school, but the Children’s Services Administration could get involved. in cases of educational neglect.

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