Declining enrollment: Where have Arizona’s students gone and their funding? See more state education and legislative news here

| March 23, 2021

By Lisa Irish • AZEDNEWS  • Arizona Education News Service • Arizona School Boards Association

A 3.54% drop in enrollment in public district schools in the past year has led education advocates to look into where those students have gone and why as well as how that funding loss is impacting schools’ budgets.

Declining enrollment: Where have Arizona’s students gone and their funding? 250-STA_VALENZUELA_MANNY
Dr. Manuel Valenzuela

“The loss of approximately 10% of our student population, combined with the 95% funding level for remote and hybrid learning, have had a significant, almost $5,000,000 impact upon our financial operations and overall picture this year,” said Dr. Manuel Valenzuela, superintendent of Sahuarita Unified School District.

“We are weathering this year’s storm largely through federal financial support. However, the uncertainty and magnitude of this budget situation create multiple contingencies and challenges for next year’s budget planning,” Dr. Valenzuela said.

Student enrollment in Arizona district schools dropped from 1,114,478 students in 2020 to 1,074,973 students in 2021, said Dr. Anabel Aportela, director of research for Arizona Association of School Business Officials and Arizona School Boards Association, who created the data maps in this story from enrollment data submitted by Arizona public schools to the Arizona Dept. of Education.

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Category: Education

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