Colorado’s public school enrollment has dropped by 30,000 students. That could spell financial disaster for districts.
Public schools reported a decrease in the number of students for the first time in 30 years, many of them in early grades.
Enrollment in Colorado public schools dropped by close to 30,000 students this school year — the first year-to-year decrease the state’s public school system has reported in more than 30 years.
Impacts of the pandemic drove enrollment numbers down, according to the Colorado Department of Education, which released preliminary enrollment figures on Tuesday morning after counting students in October.
The overall drop in enrollment equates to a 3.3% decrease, with some of Colorado’s 178 school districts suffering dips of nearly 10% from enrollment during the 2019-20 school year. That could have serious consequences for the state’s public education system and districts budgets, which are largely determined by pupil counts, said Tracie Rainey, executive director of the Colorado School Finance Project.
Depending on how the legislature decides to fund education during the next lawmaking session, districts could suffer significantly.
“It could be devastating if they make a reduction,” Rainey said. “There is no way that school districts could absorb that kind of cut.”
The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported news organization dedicated to covering the people, places and policies that matter in Colorado. Read more, sign up for free newsletters and subscribe at coloradosun.com.
Support Local Journalism
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User