Is public school enrollment set to make a comeback?
June 8, 2021
• Districts that experienced dips in student enrollment during the coronavirus pandemic may be headed toward a rebound, anecdotal evidence and researchers suggest. While many raised alarms that parents were fleeing public schools for charter or private options, enrollment in the latter declined on a national level, said Olivia Rios, associate director of education consulting firm EAB's K-12 Division.
• Meanwhile, the number of students in virtual charters and homeschooling increased. "The fact that most students have stayed home instead of leaving public school districts for attractive in-person competitors is reassuring for their return - because staying home long-term won't be viable for most," Rios said, adding spikes in virtual charter school enrollment are also likely temporary.
• Kevin Brown, executive director of the Texas Association of School Administrators, said in an email he expects a "significant rebound" in the state, especially if there is a juvenile vaccine, based on anecdotal information. Rios, who conducts research for school districts and independent schools, also said districts are confident enrollment will return to near pre-pandemic levels this fall based on internal research and family surveys.