California schools lose 160,000 students during 2020-21 academic year

By Michael Hernandez

California schools lose 160,000 students during 2020-21 academic year: biggest drop occurs between K-6; school districts will not lose revenues

SACRAMENTO—Statewide school enrollment data released by the California Department of Education shows that public schools lost 160,000 students during the 2020-21 academic year with the biggest grade level decrease in kindergarten and in grade six.

However, under state law enacted during the pandemic, school districts will not experience a decline in revenues for the 2.6 percent decline in enrollments from 6.163 million to 6.003 million students. In fact, the opposite is occurring with additional funds being released to school districts statewide and nationwide.

A California budget surplus is expected to provide an additional $27 billion to K-12 schools and community colleges. The $1.97 trillion COVID-19 relief package approved earlier this year also provides $170 billion for schools nationwide.

Total California public school enrollment declined by .7 percent for white students (from 22.4 to 21.7 percent and for African American students by .1 percentage point from 5.3 to 5.2 percent. Student enrollments increased for Hispanic students by .4 from 54.9 to 55.3 percent and for Asian students by .2 from 9.3 to 9.5 percent.

The data is compiled by the California Department of Education from data submitted annually by local educational agencies.


Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families—is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor now living in Redding (Shasta County). He worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected].

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