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Public School Enrollment Is Down And So Are The Budgets — Here’s The 411

K. Walker

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It looks like people are voting with their feet when it comes to public schools.

One unexpected benefit of the pandemic is that parents finally saw how much the woke indoctrination in public schools has ramped up in recent years. Parents saw that children were being taught bizarre teachings on sex and gender as well as the neo-racism of “anti-racism” along with the alternative history of the “1619 Project.”

One school district in Tennessee had the gall to try to get parents to sign a waiver promising that they wouldn’t listen in on virtual classes. After a significant amount of pushback from parents who asked what the heck they were hiding, the district said that parents could help their children during virtual lessons but only with permission from the teacher. That’s still outrageous.


The Associated Press reported that schools all over the country are losing students and it’s resulting in cuts to their budgets.

A school system in suburban Kansas City is eliminating over 100 jobs, including kindergarten aides and library clerks. Oakland, California, is closing seven schools. Other districts around the country are merging classrooms, selling buildings and leaving teaching positions unfilled in order to close budget gaps.

Public school systems are beginning to feel the pinch from enrollment losses tied to the coronavirus pandemic.

Money for schools is driven partly by student headcounts, and emergency provisions in many states allowed schools to maintain funding at pre-pandemic levels. But like the billions of dollars of federal relief money that have helped schools weather the crisis, those measures were not meant to last forever.

So, where are those students going?

Families opting for homeschooling, private schools and other options sent enrollment down sharply in the first full school year of the pandemic, and generally it has been slow to recover.

In Houston, the largest district in Texas, enrollment tumbled by more than 22,000 to around 183,000 in fall 2021 and only about half of those students have returned. The district was shielded from making cuts in the first two years of the pandemic by what are known as “hold harmless” provisions, but those protections are expected to end. Superintendent Millard House has asked departments to cut $60 million from next year’s budget.

Other school districts the AP says are feeling the pinch:

  • Olathe, Kansas. Enrollment peaked at over 30,000 students in the fall of 2019 but dropped by 900 in the first full school year after the pandemic. Only around 100 of those students returned. Millions are being cut from the budget along with 140 jobs.
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico. The public school district announced this spring that it anticipates a budget shortfall of about $25 million.
  • Oakland, California. Seven schools are slated to close which is leading to protests and condemnation from the ACLU which said that black students were disproportionately affected by the closures.
  •  Minneapolis, Minnesota. A teachers’ strike led to a new contract but the district will have to make $27.1 million in budget cuts to pay for it. The district lost more than 4,000 students and the funding that came with them.
  • Lawrence, Kansas. The district cut $7 million from the budget and they’re now creating multi-grade classrooms that will require fewer teachers.
  • Des Moines, Iowa. The district lost over 1,600 students since the beginning of the pandemic and made $9.4 million in spending cuts for the next school year, but expects more cuts will be needed.

But not everywhere is hurting for students.

Amid the upheaval, some states have gained students. Florida was among the leaders, according to the data-tracking site Burbio. And some districts’ headcounts benefited from new families, including some who moved to less costly areas as work went virtual.

Source: Associated Press (Emphasis added)