Metro

NYC public school enrollment dips by nearly 2 percent this year

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Preliminary numbers show that the city’s Department of Education enrollment has declined by 1.9 percent this year, officials said Friday.

The DOE reported that there are currently 938,000 K to 12 kids in traditional public schools compared to 955,000 last year.

Charter school enrollment hiked by 3.2 percent, rising to 143,000 from 139,000.

Total enrollment — including charters — dipped by 1.2 percent overall, going from 1,094,000 last year to 1,081,000 currently.

The 1.9 percent drop follows a more precipitous 4.7 percent decrease in enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year and is in line with pre-COVID-19 trends.

Enrollment fell by 1.5 percent in 2018-2019 and by 1.4 percent in 2017-2018, the DOE reported.

The current 938,000 figure includes 69,000 students in pre-K and 3-K programs, according to the agency.

Charter schools did see a rise in enrollment by 3.2 percent.
Charter schools did see a rise in enrollment by 3.2 percent.
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

This year’s departures were concentrated in higher grades while early education enrollment increased after steep drops last year, the DOE said.

The agency did not break down enrollment by school or district.

Observers feared accelerating register losses due to the continued threat of the coronavirus and the specter of school closures and general pandemic-related disruption.

The DOE argued that enrollment has stabilized somewhat — but noted that numbers will continue to fluctuate.

The city’s traditional public schools have seen enrollment drop by 8 percent since 2017-2018, going from 1,022,000 to this year’s 938,000.

The DOE has seen student decreases every year since 2016, with the department citing declining birth rates as one reason for the consistent declines.

Charter registers have soared over that same stretch, upping from 114,000 to 143,000, the figures show.

The DOE said that city schools are stemming losses more effectively than other major districts across the country.

The 2020-21 school year saw a huge 4.7 percent decrease with COVID-19 rearing its head.
The 2020-21 school year saw a huge 4.7 percent decrease with COVID-19 rearing its head.
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Los Angeles schools have lost 5.8 percent of their kids this year while Chicago shed 4.4 percent of students, the DOE highlighted.

“As the nation’s largest school district we’ve been impacted by the nationwide enrollment fluctuation that impacted schools across the country, and this data shows enrollment is stabilizing as we continue our City’s incredible recovery,” said DOE spokesperson Katie O’Hanlon.

Attendance has hovered around 89 percent his year thus far, down several percentage point from pre-pandemic averages.

While schools usually face funding dips after losing students, the DOE said that it would fill those shortfalls this year

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