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.
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