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School's In, But The Kids Are Out: Why Enrollment Continues To Drop

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School's In, But The Kids Are Out: Why Enrollment Continues To Drop

Students walk to their classrooms at a public middle school in Los Angeles, California, September 10, 2021. - Children aged 12 or over who attend public schools in Los Angeles will have to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by the start of next year, city education chiefs said September 9, 2021, the first such requirement by a major education board in the United States. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Public school enrollment dropped three percent nationwide during the 2020-2021 school year.

NPR’s education team continued to track enrollment this school year and found that while districts have gained students, a significant majority are still not back to where they were prior to the pandemic.

A similar story has unfolded in Los Angeles, Chicago and at more public schools across the nation.

NPR education reporter Cory Turner looked into why students are still not coming back to school and what schools are trying to do about it.

Meanwhile, some of the students not enrolled in public school have started being homeschooled during the pandemic. WBHM education reporter Kyra Miles spoke to Black families in Alabama who are choosing that option in increasing numbers.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

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