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Missouri public school enrollment down

The state, through its Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, said enrollment had been declining by less than 1% in the past

ST. LOUIS — Enrollment in Missouri's public schools declined 3.2% for 2020-21 compared with the prior three-year average, the state said recently, a development that came during a pandemic when many closed and pivoted to virtual instruction.

The state, through its department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MODESE), said enrollment had been declining by less than 1% in the past.

"MODESE expects that many students who were not enrolled previously will enroll for the coming year, many with a significant amount of lost instructional time," it said.

The state reported that reduced rates of enrollment were most pronounced for Black students (-5.5%), students from low-income families (-5.6%) and students experiencing homelessness (-5.7%).

Other groups fared better, with American Indian off 3.1%, white -4.4% and Asian -2%. Hispanic and Pacific Islanders students saw enrollment gains of 4.3% and 17.7%, respectively, the state said.

The state said more data analysis must be performed when 2020-21 data are complete. 

Click here for the full story from the St. Louis Business Journal.