RALEIGH – The North Carolina Public School System is enrolling fewer and fewer students as longer term trends toward alternatives are accelerated by protracted COVID closures and an insidious push to make public instruction Woke. Tens of thousands in enrollment declines over the last year, in fact.
“Public school systems in the Tar Heel State are experiencing the highest declines in student enrollment in decades.
Since the pandemic arrived in North Carolina last March, student enrollment in public schools has declined 4.4%, or nearly 63,000 students. For context, that number is nearly the size of North Carolina’s third-largest school district, Guilford County’s.
According to data from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, the state’s largest school districts aside from Wake County — which saw a 2.6% drop in enrollment — saw even worse declines: 5.5% for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, 4.1% for Guilford County Schools, and 6% in Forsyth County Schools.
The numbers are so bad that Wake County is now predicting a decline in overall student enrollment over the next decade, from the current 158,883 students to 157,624 by 2030. The decline is partly driven by dropping birth rates, although the trend line of parents flocking to alternatives is a key factor, as well. […]”
Are public school enrollment declines a bad thing? Not for students and parents, considering the social justice minefield that many public schools have become.
The fact that they have more and often better suited education options (charter school numbers are rising rapidly), more opportunity (Opportunity Scholarships are up double digits over last year), and more control (homeschooling has increased so much over the Pandemic Panic that the state agency could barely keep up with their registrations), is an altogether good thing.
But, for the school districts themselves, the decline in enrollment brings back the common theme of funding. Less students normally means less funding, and although state lawmakers gave districts a reprieve from such enrollment associated funding adjustments this year, it won’t stay that way.
Learn more about the downstream effects of enrollment declines on local education budgets, and why those declines are likely here to stay, here.