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FEDERAL DATA: NYS public school enrollment down 6%

Post-pandemic classroom setting. (WRGB){p}{/p}
Post-pandemic classroom setting. (WRGB)

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There's a new problem being faced by public schools.

Federal Data shows parents are pulling their kids out of public schools in large numbers, leaving behind empty buildings and an uncertain future, especially when it comes to funding.

This recent report comes from the National Center for Education Statistics. For many states, including New York, it's setting off new alarm bells. Nationwide, more than a million students left public schools from fall 2019 to fall 2020.

Many parents remember that time well, since it's WHEN MANY SCHOOLS WENT VIRTUAL.

New York State saw public school enrollment drop. According to the NCES report, it went down 6%.

Looking even closer at some local districts, as the pandemic raged on from 2020 to 2021, state data shows Schenectady saw its K-12 enrollment drop by 163 students to a total of 9,080.

The City School District of Albany saw a larger drop, 379 students to a total of 8,231.

We've reported on people fleeing New York for other states, and that could be part of this.

Parents have also said they've taken kids out of public school and chose private instead because of less virtual pandemic learning, and more individualized instruction. The problem here: less students means less federal funding.

So they have opened their doors back up, but the students just aren't coming back and the numbers that they though would - many of the great minds of the world come from the United States public education system, so it's not going anywhere as a system. I do think that what you're going to see, is you're going to have to see more collaboration between public school districts," said Matt Dearden, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management at Cedarville University.

This creates another problem. In areas of the country, some schools have had to close altogether. It leaves lower income families with a huge hurdle, since they can't afford private schools, and don't have time for homeschooling.

The NCES report found enrollment had previously increased between fall 2009 and 2019. The state with the biggest drop was New Hampshire at 14%. Neighboring Vermont was down 10%. Massachusetts was down 4%.

The District of Columbia saw the largest enrollment increase at 29%.

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Crisis in the Classroom is a weekly segment in which CBS 6 investigates issues faced by educators, students, and families. Send any tips to our team by emailing or by calling (518) 288-6034.

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