NEW YORK CITY — Enrollment at New York City public schools plunged this academic year, with about 43,000 students leaving the system.
A decline in enrollment began in 2016, but Department of Education officials attributed the recent drop to the COVID-19 pandemic. It could make a big difference in funding for schools; Fair Student funding, the main source of money for schools, is based on enrollment.
“Given the current circumstances of pandemic it is no surprise that we are seeing greater fluctuations in enrollment this year,” DOE spokesperson Katie O’Hanlon said. “However, no school district has stabilized its school system the way we have, which means that we can and will continue to offer the gold standard in health, safety, and learning in a completely transformed educational environment to our students.”
Enrollment fell in all 10 of the nation’s 10 biggest school districts this academic year, education officials said.
A large percentage of New York’s changes were in early childhood grades. Pre-K and 3k are not mandatory and education officials believe because of that, parents may have opted to keep their kids home. DOE data shows 3k enrollment fell 8 percent and 3k enrollment fell 13 percent.