Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Minnesota public schools see enrollment dip due to COVID-19


February 22, 2021

Kindergarten teacher Carrie Rice welcomes her students back to South Terrace Elementary School in Carlton, Minn., on Tuesday, Jan. 19. (Jamey Malcomb / Pine Journal)

ST. PAUL - Minnesota public schools saw a 2% dip in enrollment earlier this school year as more families opted to homeschool or send their children to private or parochial schools due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minnesota Department of Education on Friday, Feb. 19, reported that enrollment for the 2020-21 school year tracked 17,000 fewer students in the state's public schools compared to the academic year prior. Driving the gap was a 9% drop in kindergarten students enrolled in public schools.

Education officials said families either delayed their start by a year or instead enrolled their kids in kindergarten at a private school. Kindergarten enrollment numbers in nonpublic schools climbed by 12.4% compared to a year prior, according to the state's data.


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