Go. Public school enrollment below pre-pandemic levels | Virginie News

RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) – Enrollment in Virginia public schools has not returned to pre-pandemic levels, state data shows.

Last year, 44,000 students left public schools across the state, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. Even after the state ordered schools to reopen five days a week, student numbers have declined by 46,000 students this year, compared to 2019.

Henry’s enrollment fell below 50,000 students for the first time in more than a decade to 49,991 students. The district said it lost 1,400 students last year and saw a 118% increase in the number of students who left to attend private school.

Much of the loss is in the early grades. About 80,000 kindergarten students enrolled last year, almost 12,000 fewer than the previous school year. This year, kindergarten enrollment has increased to about 87,000, which is an increase, but not a return to pre-pandemic levels.

“There are many possible explanations for a drop in registrations. It’s not just parents angry with public schools for the way they handled schooling during the pandemic, ”said Jon Becker, associate professor of educational leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University.

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The loss of enrollment could affect how much the legislature is willing to offer in local budgets, unless it protects school districts from lost enrollments like last year.

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