By Richard Bammer
For the fifth time in as many years, California’s K-12 schools show dips in enrollments, deepened in part by “two challenging years” of the COVID-19 pandemic, state education officials said.
In its annual snapshot of fall enrollment, the state Department of Education on Monday released public school enrollment data for the current academic year, showing declines that “are consistent with national data trends,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said in a press release.
He noted the declines began before the pandemic and are projected to continue into the future and called the information “crucial to understanding how best to plan for a robust recovery in years ahead.”
Source: CDE: Enrollment data shows fifth year of decline in K-12 schools – The Vacaville Reporter
By Ali Tadayon, EdSource
Despite this year’s return to in-person learning, districts throughout the state are seeing major declines in both enrollment and average daily attendance and fear the reductions could result in significant funding cuts next school year.
Without state intervention, many districts face substantial cuts in state funding and could be forced to make significant budget cuts in the 2022-23 school year due to a fall in enrollment and attendance to which funding is tied. Districts’ baseline funding depends on the number of students enrolled, minus the daily average number of absent students.
Source: California districts anticipate major hits to their 2022-23 budgets as enrollments drop – Times-Herald
By John Fensterwald, EdSource
The unexpected drop in statewide school enrollment last year of 160,000 students may prove to be a blip, ready to rebound as the coronavirus recedes. Or that one-year 2.6% drop could be an oversize harbinger of what demographers are predicting will be a decade-long enrollment decline in California.
The fiscal crisis may be a migraine now or a mounting headache later; the answer is not if, but when, according to Michael Fine, the state’s respected fiscal worrywart. He said districts would be wise to start planning now, and take action starting next year, to deal with what for many districts will be a substantial loss of revenue from a system that ties funding to the number of kids who show up to class every day.
Source: Projected K-12 drops in enrollment pose immediate upheaval and decade-long challenge – Times-Herald
By John Glidden
As the Vallejo school district heads into a new fiscal year, trustees will get their first look at proposed budget cuts meant to keep the district fiscally solvent.
The Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education will meet Wednesday to receive information only about the district’s plan to slash at least $5.4 million from the 2020-21 fiscal year budget. Fiscal years run from July 1 to the following June 30.
The plan to be presented includes over $6 million in cuts with a bulk of that amount coming from the elimination of 62.81 full-time equivalency (FTE) positions.
Source: Vallejo school board gets first looks at additional cuts – Times-Herald
By Paul Warren and Julien Lafortune
Demographic projections from the California Department of Finance (DOF) suggest that California’s public K–12 school system is entering a long period of declining enrollment. By 2027–28, statewide enrollment is projected to fall nearly 7 percent (compared to 1.5% over the past decade). Enrollment is projected to shrink in about half of all counties, and declines are expected in more of the state’s larger counties.
Districts with declining enrollment face fiscal pressures, as state funding is tied to the number of students they serve. Declining enrollment also has important implications for the state budget. To help policymakers understand the effects of declines over the coming decade, we looked at recent district-level enrollment declines and assessed their consequences for districts as well as the state budget.
Source: Declining Enrollment in California Schools: Fiscal Challenges and Opportunities in the Coming Decade – Public Policy Institute of California