- Pandemic Enrollment Fallout
- The COVID-19 pandemic caused the largest enrollment declines in the history of American public schools.
- School districts’ operations explain large differences in 2021-22 enrollments, as districts that spent more of 2020-21 in person saw enrollments rebound, while the districts that were remote longer saw more students leave.
- Enrollment rebounds fell along partisan lines. In 2021-22, most districts that voted for Donald Trump rebounded, while enrollment continued to fall in districts that voted for Joe Biden.
- Schools’ consequential operational decisions stemmed from communities’ cautious or assertive responses to the pandemic, and that broader COVID cultural response drove divergent enrollment changes.
- Districts that spent more of 2020-21 remote face the largest enrollment declines and are more likely to see substantial revenue declines associated with them.