Enrollment drop could cost WA schools $500M in state funding

SEATTLE (AP) — New state data shows school systems in Washington still have not recovered their enrollment losses from pandemic. The Seattle Times reports that between October 2019 and October 2020, 39,000 fewer students enrolled in public school, about a 3.5% drop. The numbers weren’t distributed evenly across grades — the most pronounced losses were among younger students; the number of kindergarten students plummeted by 14%.  By this fall, the state’s enrollment had only grown by a thousand students. The drop in enrollment is bad news for public schools financially. Collectively, school districts will lose about $500 million in state funding in the next budget. That’s according to state Superintendent Chris Reykdal.