Public school enrollment in Oregon has decreased over the past three years, following nine years of growth. According to an OPB story by Elizabeth Miller published on February 14, 2023, the number of kids enrolled in kindergarten through high school in public schools has dropped by more than 30,000.
The COVID-19 pandemic is the primary cause of the drop since it forced the closure of schools and the implementation of strict regulations on using face masks by students and teachers upon their return.
In the fall of 2019, there were 582,661 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. In the fall of 2022, that number dropped to 552,380. It dropped by 3.7% in 2020–21, 1.4% in 2021–22, and 0.1% in 2022–23, or 632 students.
The Oregon Department of Education worries about the drop because they don’t know where the students have gone. During the 2021-22 academic year, the number of Oregon homeschooled students increased by 70%, reaching 29,162.
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Moreover, Oregon has lost a net number of people in the recent year, suggesting that some of its residents have left the state.
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According to the report, if you want to know how many students are enrolled in private schools or are homeschooled in your area, you’ll have to call each educational service district individually to get that information.
ODE officials claim that thousands of children are missing, even after considering that some have chosen to attend private schools.
An Associated Press story from February 9 didn’t mention Oregon because of insufficient data. Still, it does indicate that the number of pupils who haven’t returned to school since the pandemic shutdown is over 230,000 in 21 states.
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