“We are starting to see that public education is returning to normal,” said Cassandra Ulbrich, president of the State Board of Education. “Having ongoing personal education opportunities for children will help us continue to watch these numbers increase.”

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But enrollment in the state continues to decline by 3.7 percent since the pandemic – and by 5 percent in Detroit counties – which raises questions about where these students have gone and fears that declining student numbers could hurt the district’s finances.

“Let’s say you lost 10 students, a small amount is $ 87,000,” said Bob McCann, executive director of the K-12 Alliance advocacy group, noting that last year Michigan schools received an average of $ 8,700 per student. . “The loss of a small number of students could have a direct impact on the district’s income and the services they can provide.”

In the public district of Detroit public schools, the number of students decreased by 256 students, or 0.5 percent. This is an improvement over last year, when the number of entrants fell by 3.7 percent.

Detroit is by no means the only school district in the big city struggling with declining student numbers. This year there are fewer students New York, Memphis, Los Angelesand Chicago.

The same is true in Michigan, where urban school districts have seen a decline in student numbers over the past two years, according to the DPSCD. District officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Overall, recent evidence suggests that enrollment in Michigan is beginning to stabilize. This fall, the state enrolled 1,443,456 students, compared to 1,437,612 last fall.

As a sign that some parents are still concerned about personal learning, since the fall of 2019, the number of students in all-online charter schools in Michigan has increased by 63 percent, or 6,200 students. Due to the increase in virtual enrollment, the number of visitors to charter schools across the state increased by 988 students, or 0.6 percent.

In general, the increase in entrants was due to color students and students from low-income families:

  • Compared to the fall of 2020, the number of blacks increased by 1.89 percent and the number of Hispanics increased by 3.16 percent. Since the fall of 2020, the number of whites has declined by 0.7 percent. Since the fall of 2019, the number of students in all three categories has declined.
  • Among students from low-income families, the number of students has increased by 2 percent over the past year, although it has decreased by 2 percent since the fall of 2019.

This year, the number of students in kindergartens has increased dramatically, an increase of 7 percent or 8,200 students compared to the previous year. This is a reversal compared to last year, when the decline in enrollment was concentrated in kindergartens. At the same time, the significant reduction in the cohort that started attending kindergarten in the 2020-21 school year suggests that some parents have decided that their children are re-attending kindergarten.

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