Question for AZ teachers: Why did public school enrollment decline?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pisces, Apr 2, 2021.

  1. Pisces

    Pisces Companion

    Jan 15, 2019
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    Apr 2, 2021

    Hi, I recently came across two articles that left me very surprised:

    Why did public schools enrollment decline 50K in 2020 and 38K in 2021? Teachers were even laid off! I thought AZ had a major teacher shortage.
    Are all these kids being homeschooled? GED? Where are they getting their education?
    (I am curious because I would like to move to AZ in the next two years. I know it's not a great state for teachers...)
  3. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Feb 5, 2011
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    Apr 3, 2021

    Well I'm not in AZ, but isn't this happening everywhere? It definitely is here. We've had a major decline in enrollment as have all of the other nearby districts. They thankfully passed a bill in my state where they agreed to provide per pupil funding based on an average of the previous 3 years rather than just this one year to try and make up some of the difference.

    With the pandemic, people were avoiding school for various reasons. Some feel that it's not safe. Others don't want to subject their children to masks and social distancing all day. All districts offered elearning options, but many parents felt that if they were going to go that route, they may as well enroll in an established online program like K12online rather than dealing with districts figuring out this new to them thing. Others felt if they were going to keep their child home anyway, they may as well homeschool, especially if they had any sort of aversion to their child spending a lot of time on technology. Others went to private schools that may have been able to offer in person learning all year long, or may have been implementing fewer restrictions as far as masks/social distancing, etc.

    We're hearing about declining enrollment constantly. My district put out some what I'm affectionately calling "propaganda videos" trying to get people to enroll. We were also told that the elearning option is here to stay, although it will be much more challenging to implement in a tiny district like mine. Other nearby districts will offer it next year, and they're afraid that if we don't offer it as well, we'll lose students to those districts.
  4. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Comrade

    Dec 26, 2009
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    Apr 3, 2021

    Makes sense. And don't have to deal with the instability of switching randomly between distance and F2F.
  5. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Jul 3, 2010
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    Apr 3, 2021

    Private school enrollment dropped as well. I am hoping next year will pick up for public and private schools.
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

    Jun 14, 2013
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    Apr 14, 2021

    This is nearly 1/4 though... even if it’s that they’re losing to families wanting to enroll in other programs or homeschool, that’s significant. Are other areas losing that many?
  7. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Sep 16, 2010
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    Apr 14, 2021

    The fox article said that 40% of the drop is pre-school and K age children. The other article says AZ state law says kids don't have to go to school until they are 6.

    For many of the others, they may have left the state temporarily (or permanently) to go live with relatives or to a 2nd home. Not all people with enough income to have 2 properties use private school. There is no guarantee that those students registered in public schools elsewhere. Not all states calculate enrollment the same so you may not see increases in other states as easily unless they are registering in public schools.

    Also, some families may have just given up on the whole thing because it was such a waste of time for their families. Not all virtual was implemented well.

    There may also be people who went on-line or private. Some who may just be keeping their kids at home but no enrolling them in homeschool.

    I even know some people AZ who decided to homeschool because the virtual option was failing them from the start. However, they provided the proper paperwork.

    USA Today's article estimated 50K, but the other article says it is 38K.
  8. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

    Oct 25, 2014
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    Apr 14, 2021

    How much of the enrollment decline is connected to decreasing birth rates in the US?
    Especially if it's mostly being seen in pre-k/Kindergarten... it seems like some of that is attributable to those not being accessible or required (or both), and some may just be that the number of kids that age has decreased.
    Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 10.51.30 AM.png
    [Graph is from the CDC's National Vital Statistics Report]

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