Enrollment in metropolis public faculties has fallen under 890,000 college students — down from greater than one million children a decade in the past, in accordance to inner Department of Education information considered by The Post.
In late January, DOE officers pegged this 12 months’s enrollment at “approximately 960,000 students” — a 4 % drop over final 12 months after 43,000 children exited the system. The newest college registers point out a further lack of 70,000 college students.
The DOE disputed that quantity final week — with out giving the present enrollment — insisting it received’t launch the data till it’s audited.
Clearly, households have left DOE faculties in droves for the reason that pandemic threw the system into turmoil, and proceed to search options.
“This year, parents are so unhappy with what they think they’re going to get in September, they’d rather opt for a charter or a private school or leave the city,” mentioned Alina Adams, a mom of three and creator who runs the web site NYC School Secrets.
Several dad and mom advised The Post they’ve fled the system as a result of the DOE was disorganized and their children had been falling behind. Others say the DOE has diminished its give attention to accelerated-learning packages, resembling Gifted & Talented, and develop into extra “political” than tutorial.
“I’m a huge proponent of public school education. I never in my life thought I’d send my kids anywhere else,” mentioned Stefanie Trilling, who’s transferring her 6-year-old daughter, Shira, from PS 33 in Manhattan to the $41,000-a-year United Nations International School. “It’s breaking my heart to pull my daughter from a school that we love for the sole reason that the city is undermining one of the programs that made the school so great.”
Natalia Petrzela, who transferred her third-grade daughter from a Manhattan elementary to an expensive personal college after Thanksgiving, mentioned, “It transformed her life. She went from this scattershot, hybrid schedule with lots of video, even in the classroom, to five days a week in person with a real live teacher. That was a game changer.”
Petrzela, a historical past professor on the New School, mentioned she is “extraordinarily privileged” however stays dedicated to talking out concerning the public faculties. “I know most families can’t make that choice.”
Others have opted for comparatively inexpensive Catholic faculties — although they aren’t Catholic.
Kathy Wu Parrino and her husband transferred their daughter, Emma, from PS 101 in Forest Hills to Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, which prices about $5,500 a 12 months, final September.
They had been annoyed that their first-grader was getting distant assignments with none course or due dates. The college additionally “pushed back the curriculum,” Parrino mentioned. “We were told by the teachers, ‘Don’t worry about it. Everybody’s behind.’”
But when Emma began full-time, five-day per week lessons on the Catholic college, the opposite children had been manner forward, the mother mentioned. Emma was put right into a remedial studying class by final month.
Parrino discovered the parochial college “more structured” and much more numerous than the public college. “There are more black and brown students.”
Amy Tse’s daughter, Elizabeth, earned a seat within the elite Bronx HS of Science final 12 months, however the household determined she ought to settle for a full scholarship from Saint Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows, which boasts a topnotch STEM program.
“I don’t want anything more to do with the DOE,” Tse mentioned, describing her daughter’s “week of hell” attempting to join the specialised college examination. “I feel so bad for the parents who have to deal with the DOE system this year.”
De Blasio, in asserting that faculties will absolutely reopen this fall, declared Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” TV present, “One million kids will be back in their classroom in September, all in person, no remote.”
On that day, nonetheless, an inner DOE report reviewed by The Post tallied enrollment at 889,404 college students.
The “register” has proven slightly below 890,000 college students since April 29, and simply above 890,000 earlier than that. (The determine doesn’t embrace Early Learn, pre-Ok and 3K packages run by non-profit group teams, DOE-funded faculties for teenagers with disabilities, or hospital packages.) The complete is just not attendance, however enrollment, which may change daily as college students be part of or depart the system.
That is a far cry from 2001-2001, when metropolis faculties enrolled 1.1 million pupils, or perhaps a decade in the past, when 1.04 million college students had been on the register, in accordance to data from the Independent Budget Office.
The division estimated in January that enrollment for the 2020-2021 college 12 months was 960,000. The fall to below 890,000 marks a roughly 7% lower this college 12 months, and a 19% lower from the 2000-2001 peak enrollment.
Friday’s enrollment, in accordance to the daily report, was 889,189.
The sliding enrollment comes at the same time as New York City’s inhabitants elevated, from 8,008,278 in 2000 to 8,336,817 in 2019, in accordance to the federal Census Bureau.
The latest inner numbers considered by The Post — which the DOE disputed — are in step with projections made by the mayor’s workplace in its Fiscal Year 2022 government funds. That doc forecasts DOE enrollment would drop to 898,263 in 2021 — and slip additional to 891,971 in 2022.
Expenditures ̶ and worker headcount ̶ are projected to rise over that very same interval, regardless of the enrollment decline. City funding is projected to lower barely, as state and federal funds rise.
“Lack of stability is one reason parents are leaving,” mentioned David Bloomfield, training professor at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center. “It’s probably very important the mayor has called for all in-person schools, five days a week. That’s likely to bump up the enrollment data.”
In November, the training information web site Chalkbeat reported that enrollment had fallen 3.4 % from final college 12 months to 901,000. The DOE at the moment mentioned “any declarations about enrollment are premature.”
That lower coincided with a rise in purposes to the town’s Catholic faculties, a few of them providing two-for-one offers, Adams mentioned. Homeschooling has additionally elevated. The Post reported final November that 10,667 kids had been being taught by their very own dad and mom or in personal “pods.” That tally, made on Oct. 23, was 31 %, or 2,526 college students, greater than the prior 12 months.
Meanwhile, rising constitution college enrollment is anticipated to proceed, from 125,798 in 2020 to 135,896 in 2021 and 141,866 in 2022, in accordance to the mayor’s workplace’s funds projections. Charters are publicly funded however privately run.
DOE spokesman Nathaniel Styer disputed a steep enrollment drop, however refused to give a present enrollment determine, saying the division is getting ready to launch the “fall audited data.”
”We don’t report out enrollment data that has not been audited as it will mislead the public and neither ought to the Post,” he mentioned.
Schools in decline
Enrollment in NYC public faculties has declined 19 % since its 2000-2001 excessive, and the variety of college students leaving the system has exploded in the course of the pandemic:
college 12 months/ enrollment:
- 2000-2001: 1.11 million
- 2001-2002: 1.10 million
- 2002-2003: 1.09 million
- 2003-2004: 1.09 million
- 2004-2005: 1.08 million
- 2005-2006: 1.06 million
- 2006-2007: 1.04 million
- 2007-2008: 1.04 million
- 2008-2009: 1.03 million
- 2009-2010: 1.04 million
- 2010-2011: 1.04 million
- 2011-2012: 1.04 million
- 2012-2013: 1.04 million
- 2013-2014: 1.03 million
- 2014-2015: 1.04 million
- 2015-2016: 1.04 million
- 2016-2017: 1.04 million
- 2017-2018: 1.02 million
- 2018-2019: 1.01 million
- 2019-2020: 1.03 million
- Fall 2020: 960,000 (estimated)
- May 28: 889,189
Sources: Independent Budget Office, Department of Education