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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Competing for kindergarteners

Kindergarten enrollment has fallen by 17 percent in the last six years in district school in New York City, reports the New York Post. In some areas, it's down by more than 25 percent.

Overall, K-12 enrollment fell by 14 percent in district schools, while rising by 18 percent in charters.

New York City has some very high-performing charter schools, notes the Post. In addition, families with children seem to be leaving the city and birth rates are down.

Indianapolis Public Schools is paying a consultant to recruit students, after losing enrollment to charters and to private schools that accept vouchers, reports Amelia Pak-Harvey for Chalkbeat. About one in 10 students left during the first year of the pandemic, when schools were closed.

“Vouchers accepted,” read signs for a private Christian school strewn throughout the Fountain Square neighborhood. “Now enrolling!” signs for multiple charter schools beckon in Mapleton-Fall Creek. “Free college in high school,” touts one charter school on the east side.

"Meanwhile, charter school enrollment within and near IPS borders has grown almost every year — as has the number of IPS students attending private schools using state-funded tuition vouchers, which lawmakers expanded this year," she writes.

"We help recruit students in the front doors, but also districts have to figure out ways to retain those students from leaving out the back door,” says Caissa K-12 President Adrian Bond.

In EdChoice's new 2023 Schooling in America survey, about three-quarters of private, homeschool and charter parents are satisfied with their choice, as are about two-thirds of traditional public school parents. Homeschoolers and private schoolers are the most likely to be "very satisfied" with their choice (41 percent); 38 percent of charter schoolers and 28 percent of public-school parents are "very satisfied."

Among the third of parents whose children switched schools, stress and bullying were major concerns.

"Private and charter school parents place more value on academic quality than parents who chose other learning options," writes Travis Pillow, editor of reimaginED. "Homeschoolers place the most value on individualized learning. Parents sending their children to district-run public schools place greater value on access to a learning environment close to where they live or work."

About a third of the decline in public school enrollment is unexplained, say Stanford researchers. It may reflect an increase in truancy, unregistered homeschooling and more families skipping kindergarten. Or other factors.


Aug 09, 2023

Kindergarteners are more likely to have Millennial parents (age 27-42 in 2023). Good to see they are putting all that activism they got indoctrinated in at college to good use for their kids.


Aug 08, 2023

Sounds like competition works.

"Carthago delenda est" To modernize Cato: The public school system must be destroyed (Ratio scholae publicae delenda est).

It's past the point where it can be "evolved" or "transformed" into something sane. It has to be abandoned and rebuilt from the ground up.

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