New York City's public school enrollment for the current school year has dropped to 938,000, in preliminary and unaudited numbers released by the Department of Education.
This enrollment figure is 6.4% lower than the mostly pre-pandemic 2019-2020 school year, which had 1,002,000 public school students, and 1.9% lower than the 2020-2021 school year (955,000 public school students). The DOE says that enrollment has been declining since 2016, noting that the birth rate has been falling for the past 14 years in NYC, and that other major cities' school districts have also seen enrollments fall (Los Angeles by 5.8% and Miami by 2.2%).
Charter school enrollment grew 10% from the 2019-2020 school year, going tom 130,000 to 143,000 for 2021-2022 (preliminary numbers), and increasing nearly 4% from last year. Charters are part of the DOE.
The department also offered preliminary daily attendance figures for public schools, saying that it's at 89% for the 869,000 kindergarten through 12th grade (3K and pre-K attendance are not counted). District 75 attendance increased 8.1% to 80%; attendance of students in shelters is up 5.6% to 80.5%; and English Language Learners attendance ticked up 3.8% to 88.9%.
“From day one of this pandemic our school leaders and educators met the needs of New York City students at every turn, and we’re supporting schools with unprecedented investments and holding them harmless for enrollment shifts this year," Katie O'Hanlon, DOE spokesperson, said. "As the nation’s largest school district we’ve been impacted by the nationwide enrollment fluctuation that impacted schools across the country, and this data shows enrollment is stabilizing as we continue our City’s incredible recovery.”