The pandemic caused a drop in kindergarten enrollment that could affect future classes

Written by on August 24, 2021

The pandemic caused a drop in kindergarten enrollment that could affect future classes

By Chloe Nouvelle

August 24, 2021

Image by klimkin from Pixabay

A report from Stanford University found enrollment in public schools in the United States fell by more than one million students last fall. 

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Kaitlin Anderson, an education policy researcher at Lehigh University, said the report found school districts that offered remote-only instruction had larger enrollment declines. 

Anderson added that the largest declines were at the kindergarten grade level. 

In terms of what effect missing kindergarten will have on students, Anderson said it depends on what children were doing instead of attending public school online. 

“There might be some more well-off families who were able to say, OK, rather than do the virtual option, we would rather enroll our student in a high-quality pre-k program or a high-quality tutoring program or something like that. But there’s a lot of families who were not able to access that,” said Anderson.

Anderson also pointed out that if some students are behind in their education, it could affect other kids in their classroom.

“Everybody had a hard year so some kids will enter first grade behind. What that means for their peers is an important question,” Anderson said. 

Anderson explained that having students at different points academically could impact school class sizes and district finances in the future. 

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