NEW YORK (PIX11) — Enrollment at New York City schools continues to fall, despite an influx of migrants, preliminary figures from the Department of Education revealed on Monday.
Before the pandemic, there were more than a million students in the public school system. There are around 903,000 students currently enrolled.
“Like districts and schools across the county, our enrollment has been impacted by fluctuations resulting from the pandemic as well as long-term trends in birth rates,” DOE First Deputy Chancellor Dan Weisberg said. “In response, Chancellor Banks and his leadership team are focused on increasing enrollment in our public schools, and these efforts are starting to show signs of progress.”
Enrollment fell almost 4 percent in 2021-22, which in turn was down from the previous year, according to the DOE. Preliminary numbers suggest enrollment is down 1.8 percent for the current academic year. Falling enrollment has led Mayor Eric Adams to cut school budgets.
Some of the change in enrollment been attributed to falling birth rates, which have gone down over the last 15 years. The decrease in enrollment has also been attributed to students who left the New York City school system.
There’s been a significant rise in students leaving the system. Around 37,000 students have left since 2019-20, according to the DOE. Most of them moved to school systems within New York State, New Jersey or to southern parts of the US.
Breaking the moves down by demographics, Asian students were more likely to move to Long Island, while Black students were more likely to move to the southern U.S. and white students were more likely to leave the country entirely.
Income also played a role. Students in poverty were more likely to move to the southern US or Pennsylvania and less likely to move elsewhere within New York.
The DOE data released Monday is preliminary and unaudited. Officials will release updated information later in the school year.