Wisconsin public schools enrollment drop adds to virus woes

Posted at 12:54 PM, Oct 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-20 16:43:12-04

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin education officials said Thursday that enrollment at public schools in the state has dropped by 3% this year, adding more misery to funding problems created by the coronavirus.

The numbers decline could further hurt districts already in a financial pinch because of the extra costs associated with COVID-19 pandemic, such as more laptops and internet hotspots for students and cleaning supplies, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Some state aid to districts is decided on a per pupil basis, while other state funding is based on a three-year, rolling enrollment average.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction reported 818,922 students for the 2020-21 school year. That’s a dip of roughly 25,000 students.

In the past school five years, public school enrollment in Wisconsin has dropped between 2,000 and 4,000 students each year, or a decline of less than half a percentage point annually.


This story was first published on Oct. 15. It was updated on Oct. 20 to correct that state enrollment did not drop by 818,922 students. It dropped by roughly 25,000 students, to 818,922.