Wisconsin public schools enrollment drop adds to virus woes

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 fewer students for the 2020-21 school year, The state recorded a 0.4% drop in student enrollment between the 2018-2019 school year and the 2019-2020 school year.

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.

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