Enrollment in Missouri public schools declines by 3.2%

Missouri

A girl wears a face mask as students sit in a classroom of the Petri primary school in Dortmund, western Germany, on June 15, 2020 amid the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. – From June 15, 2020, all children of primary school age in the western federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia will once again be attending regular daily classes until the summer holidays. The distance rules and compulsory mouthguards are no longer applicable. (Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP) (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Enrollment in Missouri’s public schools dropped 3.2 percent this school year as the education system grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

State education officials say 872,470 students are enrolled in preschool through 12th grade in Missouri public schools this year, a drop of nearly 27,500 students.

A spokeswoman for the state education department says officials are trying to determine if the students who left are homeschooling, attending a private school that offers onsite learning or have simply not enrolled yet.

The enrollment drop was most pronounced in preschool and kindergarten, with a 31 percent decline in public preschool and a nearly 10 percent decrease in kindergarten.

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