Study Shows Children Not Re-Enrolling in Public Schools

New research from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) shows that as school districts kept students out of the classroom and in-person learning, those school districts saw an overall enrollment decrease. Nationally, 1.27 million students have not returned to public schools since the pandemic began in the US.


There was a steeper decline in primarily remote learning from the 2021-2022 school year over the 2020-2021 academic calendar. In 2020-2021, remote learning modes had a drop in public school enrollment of -3.2%, compared to the 2021-2022 school year, when the decrease in enrollment was -4.4%. However, the typically in-person learning mode saw a reduction in public school enrollment of -2.0% in the 2020-2021 academic year.


Illinois ranks among 19 other states that experienced a more than -3% decline in public school enrollment after the 2021-2022 academic year. Illinois expresses education as a significant accomplishment for the state. The standing is not how the state wants to project strength in the area. Still, even with Illinois' -3.42% slump in student registration for public school, it ranks in the bottom quarter of the country, with many states behind it. For example, New York had the dubious distinction of leading the nation with -5.88%, followed by Oregon with -5.67%