Annual Education Condition Shows Historic Drop in Total Public School Enrollment Between Fall 2019 and Fall 2020

Falling enrollment in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic erased a decade of steady growth in public school enrollment nationwide

WASHINGTON , May 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Total public elementary and secondary school enrollment for K-12 students fell 3% between fall 2019 and fall 2020, erasing a decade of steady growth , according The condition of education 2022, an annual report to Congress released today by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This was the largest single-year decline in total public school enrollment since 1943. This drop in enrollment during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic was concentrated in classrooms lower. Looking specifically at the youngest children, overall enrollment rates (in public and private schools) fell by 13 percentage points for children aged 3 to 4 (from 54 to 40 percent).

The condition of education is part of a 150-year tradition at NCES and provides historical and contextual perspective on key measures of educational progress to Congress and the American public,” said the NCES Commissioner. Peggy G. Carr. “This year’s report reaffirms the National Center for Education Statistics’ mission to provide the nation with data on the state and progress of education, and sheds new light on the major disruption caused by the pandemic. of COVID-19 at all levels of education.”

The condition of education summarizes the latest data on education in United States and contains key indicators on all levels of education (from pre-K to post-secondary), labor market outcomes and international comparisons. The indicators summarize important developments and trends in the field of education using the most recent statistics. The condition of education includes a total of 88 indicators, including 52 updated this year, on the state of education in United States at all levels and uses data from across NCES and other sources to help inform policy makers and the public about important education trends and topics.

Annual indicators include pandemic-era data on school enrollment from early childhood through post-secondary education, as well as data on post-secondary finances and labor market outcomes. New pre-pandemic analyzes are also available for high school course completion data and NAEP long-term trend assessment performance. In addition to the annual indicators, this year’s report Condition presents a more in-depth examination of how the pandemic may have influenced education choices and schooling.

The full report can be viewed at https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe. The condition of education is a compilation of statistical information collected and assembled from other statistical products. For more information on data sources, please visit https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/sources.

Main findings:

Preschool, elementary and secondary education

  • Between fall 2019 and fall 2020, total public elementary and secondary school enrollment for K-12 students fell 3%, from 50.8 million students to 49.4 million students. This decline in enrollment in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic brought enrollment back to 2009 levels (49.4 million), erasing a decade of steady enrollment growth. This is the largest single-year decline in total public school enrollment since 1943.

  • While the 1943 drop – during World War II – was concentrated among public school students in grades 9 through 12, the 2020 drop was concentrated among those in kindergarten through 8. Specifically, between fall 2009 and fall 2019, K-8 enrollment increased 3% (from 34.4 million to 35.6 million) before dropping 4% to 34.1 million students in fall 2020. In contrast, enrollment in grades 9 through 12 increased by 2% between fall 2009 (15.0 million) and fall 2019 (15.2 million) and continued to increase in fall 2020 (15.3 million).

  • Enrollment rates for 5-year-olds fell by 6 percentage points from 2019 to 2020 (from 91 to 84%), while enrollment rates for 3- to 4-year-olds fell by 13 percentage points (from 54 to 40%).

  • Enrollment in public charter schools more than doubled between fall 2009 and fall 2019. Enrollment in public charter schools increased from 1.6 million students in fall 2009 to 3.4 million students in fall 2019. At the same time, the number of students attending traditional public schools decreased by 0.5 million (from 47.5 million to 47.0 million students). Because of these two concurrent trends, the percentage of all public school students who attended public charter schools increased from 3% to 7% during this period.

  • NAEP long-term trend assessments showed improved reading and math scores at ages 9 and 13 between the 1970s and 2020s. However, mean scores for 9-year-olds were not significantly different for either subject in 2020 compared to the previous assessment in 2012. For 13-year-olds, average scores were lower in 2020 than in 2012 for both subjects, marking the first time that Reading or math scores for this age group declined between assessments.

post-secondary education

  • Undergraduate enrollment was down before the pandemic (a decrease of 0.9 million students, or 5%, over a 10-year period between 2009 and 2019), but during the pandemic it fell by 0, 7 million students (or 4%) between 2019 and 2020 alone.

  • For male and female students, post-secondary enrollment patterns showed similar trends from 2009 to 2019 (both decreasing by 5%). However, from 2019 to 2020, female registrations fell by 2%, while male registrations fell by 7%.

  • On the other hand, the total number of enrollments in post-baccalaureate programs (such as master’s and doctoral programs) increased by 8% between 2009 and 2019 (from 2.8 million to 3.1 million students). ). It continued to increase between 2019 and 2020, by an additional 2% (67,300 students).

  • Based on reports from adults with household members planning to attend a post-secondary institution in the fall of 2021, post-secondary education plans have been disrupted to a lesser extent than they were a year ago. earlier in the pandemic.

Population characteristics and economic outcomes

  • In 2019-20, post-secondary institutions awarded approximately 5.1 million scholarships, ranging from certificates below the associate level to doctoral degrees. At all scholarship levels, the number of scholarships awarded was higher in 2019-2020 than in 2009-2010. Between 2010 and 2021, the educational attainment of 25- to 29-year-olds increased with each level achieved. During this period, the percentage of people with at least high school education increased from 89% to 94%, the percentage with an associate degree or higher increased from 41% to 49%, and the percentage with with a bachelor’s degree or higher rose from 32% to 39%. .

  • In March 2021, about a year into the coronavirus pandemic, the employment rate for 25- to 34-year-olds was higher for those with higher levels of education. For example, the employment rate ranged from 53% for those who had not completed high school to 86% for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

  • Compared to 2010, employment rates were higher in 2021 only for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher (84 versus 86%). For those who had completed high school and those who had college education, employment rates increased from 2010 to 2019, but these gains were reversed during the coronavirus pandemic (at rates of 68 and 75%, respectively).

International comparisons

  • In 2019, 4th and 8th graders in the United States ranked in the top 25% of participating education systems in math and science in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a principal agency of the U.S. federal statistical system, is the statistical center of the U.S. Department of Education and the primary federal entity responsible for collecting and analyzing data related to education in United States and other countries. NCES, located within the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES), fulfills a congressional mandate to collect, collate, analyze, and report comprehensive statistics on the state of American education; produce and publish reports; and review and report on education activities internationally.

The State of Education Report is a congressionally mandated annual report of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Using the most recent data available from NCES and other sources, the report contains key indicators on the state of education in United States at all levels, from pre-kindergarten to post-secondary, as well as labor market outcomes and international comparisons. Some Core Indicators are updated annually and highlight indicators that provide in-depth analyzes on topics of interest to education systems, policy makers, researchers and the public.

CONTACT:
Josh DelarosaNational Center for Education Statistics, Aris.nces@ed.gov
james elias, Hager Sharpjelias@hagersharp.com

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SOURCE National Center for Education Statistics

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