Sofoklis Goulas

Economist

Sofoklis Goulas

Economist

Blog Post

Declining school enrollment since the pandemic

Declining school enrollment since the pandemic

In this paper, we investigate how student enrollment in public schools is different after the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the pandemic—between the 2018-19 and 2021-22 school years— about 12 percent of public elementary schools and 9 percent of middle schools experienced more than a 20 percent decline. This is a significant change from before the pandemic, when about 5 percent of elementary and middle schools saw a 20 percent enrollment decline between 2015-16 and 2018-19. Enrollment declines are widespread but differ substantially across types of schools, locales, and socioeconomic status. The analysis finds that urban districts and high-poverty districts saw larger declines in school enrollment.