Public School Enrollments Still Declining

Virginia K-12 public school enrollment will decline by nearly 31,000 students, or about 2.9 percent, over the next four years, according to the demographic research group at the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.

The fall-off is expected to be sharpest among high school students, which augurs negatively for future enrollment at Virginia’s universities and community colleges.

The Center based its estimates on the number of births in school districts, projecting forward five years to Kindergarten, and then adjusting for later grades by estimated percentages of students advancing to the next grade, school transfers, migration, dropouts, and deaths. Major uncertainties center around the impact of virtual learning and whether the exodus to private schools and home schools during the COVID epidemic will recede. — JAB