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  • Joanne Jacobs

Where are the students?

Urban districts are reporting sharp drops in enrollments compared to pre-pandemic levels: New York City is down 8.3 percent.


Chicago expects be down 15,000 students in 2022-23, reports Sarah Karp for WBEZ, but keep almost all of its funding.


"A wholesale mass exodus from traditional public schools has not occurred," the 2022 Education Next survey found, but traditional public schools lost two million students to alternatives such as charters, private schools and homeschooling.


Public school enrollment fell from 50.8 million students in fall 2019 to 49.4 million in fall 2020 and inched up to 49.5 million in fall 2021, reports the National Center for Education Statistics. However, enrollment is declining in grades 1 through 7. Prekindergarten enrollment rose by 14 percent, and enrollment of kindergarteners rose by 5 percent from 2020 to 2021.


School started in Los Angeles Unified, but many students didn't show up. Is it the latest wave of Covid? Fears about school shootings? Nobody knows.



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