New York public school enrollment has fallen nearly 2% this year

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Enrollment in New York City’s public school system has fallen by 17,000 students this year, according to preliminary data.

Officials reported that over the past year, the system saw a 5% drop in enrollment, bringing the total number of children enrolled in a city public school to 955,000, from 1,002,000 l ‘last year. But now the change is “leveling off,” with officials reporting only a 1.9% drop in enrollment, bringing the total number of 3k in Grade 12 students to 938,000.

DOE officials attribute the drop in enrollments in part to the city’s declining birth rate and challenges caused by the pandemic, similar to those in other major cities across the country. This year, the number of children attending public schools in Los Angeles fell 5.8% and in Chicago and Miami by 4% and 2.2% respectively. In addition, officials say the drop in enrollment last year was caused by a drop in 3k and pre-K enrollment due to new students not entering these classes due to the pandemic. of COVID-19.

The reason public school enrollment was able to recover is due to an increase in enrollment in 3k and pre-K grades across the city following the lifting of pandemic restrictions and the expansion 3k programs by Mayor Bill de Blasio at every school district across the five boroughs. So far this year, authorities have reported a record 96,000 toddlers participating in the city’s 3k program, around 21,000 more children than last year and 9,000 than during the 2019-2020 school year.

According to the data, there are approximately 357,000 children enrolled in Kindergarten to Grade 5, approximately 191,000 enrolled in Grades 6 to 8, and 294,000 adolescents enrolled in Grades 9 to 12.

Enrollment in charter schools in the five boroughs increased by 4,000 students this year, bringing the total enrollment to 143,000 from 139,000 in the 2020-21 school year, according to unaudited data.

The data, which the DOE will be releasing again in the spring, will most likely change in the coming months as parents can still enroll their students in early years programs and does not reflect the number of students chronically absent from schools. Regardless, the DOE does not hold harmless schools for enrollment, which means no school will see its budget cut due to low enrollment rates thanks to federal stimulus funds.

“From day one of this pandemic, our principals and educators have met the needs of New York City students every moment, and we are supporting schools with unprecedented investments and protecting them from changes in signing up this year, ”DOE spokesperson Katie O’Halon mentioned. “As the largest school district in the country, we have been impacted by the nationwide enrollment fluctuation that has affected schools across the country, and this data shows that enrollment is leveling off as we continue. incredible takeover of our city. “


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