Va. public school enrollment below pre-pandemic levels

Posted at 10:35 AM, Nov 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 10:35:52-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- State data shows that enrollment at Virginia’s public schools has not returned to pre-pandemic levels.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that last year, 44,000 students left the state’s public schools. The number of students lagged by 46,000 students this year, compared to 2019.

Much of the loss is in early grade levels. About 80,000 kindergartners enrolled last school year, nearly 12,000 fewer than the previous school year. This year, kindergarten enrollment grew to around 87,000, which is an increase, but not a return to pre-pandemic levels.

The enrollment loss could affect how much the legislature’s willing to offer in local budgets unless it holds school districts harmless for enrollment loss like last year.