WEST VIRGINIA (WOWK) – More than 9,000 less students enrolled in West Virginia public schools for the 2020-21 school year, according to the West Virginia Department of Education.
They say the decrease in students is mostly attributed to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the school system.
The decreased enrollment represents an estimated $42.7 million loss in school funding for the 2021-22 school year, which translates into the potential elimination of hundreds of positions for professional personnel (including classroom teachers) and service personnel.
According to the Oct. 1, 2020, certified headcount enrollment, 252,357 students are enrolled in public schools in the state. This number, a decrease of 9,276 students since last year, includes those who are participating in virtual and in-person instruction. Virtual school enrollment is 47,960 for the state.
“This is an issue that will have to be discussed during the upcoming legislative session,” said WVBE President Miller Hall. “We anticipate a significant portion of these students will return to public school once we have a vaccine and families feel more comfortable with that decision.”
Enrollment data for the 2020-21 school year is available here.