Life before COVID-19, and life during COVID-19, are two completely different things.

Attendance At New York City Public Schools Drops During Current Covid Spike
Attendance at NYC schools drops / Getty Images

A number of people across the world have done a complete re-evaluation of their lot in life, and in a number of cases, have made fairly significant changes in their lives. They've changed jobs, moved to a new town or state, and, in the cases of families, have changed their children's education situation.

As it turns out, that has been happening across the state, as public schools across New York are recording record lows in enrollment.

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Students are Leaving Public Schools at Exponential Rates

According to a story published by Inform NY, statewide enrollment has decreased by five percent over a two-year period, dating back to 2020.

Here's what the Empire Center had to say about the trend:

"'To give a sense of perspective, over the course of the past decade, there has been a loss of 200,000 in enrollment from the public schools. But just over the last two years, there has been a decline of well over 100,000,' said Peter Warren, Director of Research at the Empire Center." - Inform NY

On the flip side, the Empire Center noted an increase in enrollment at charter and private schools, with that total's growth mirroring the decline of public school enrollment. No specific cause was identified when discussing why enrollment was down, but one has to imagine, COVID-19 had to have played a major part in the decline.

Examining the Reason for Public Schools' Enrollment Decline

Of course, the first reason that anyone will point to, is the rise of COVID-19. Public school teachers and students have been through the ringer since the spring of 2020, springing back and forth from in-person to remote learning, with some experiencing the mind-boggling middle ground known as hybrid learning.

It's plenty plausible that the experience of COVID at a public school led some to re-evaluate their circumstances.


That being said, it could be attributed to other reasons. Certain parents may believe that private or charter schools offer better education, or, will benefit their children outside of the classroom, as well.

In reality, it's probably a mix of both. The same number of parents moved their kids to new schools for a chance at improved academic performance, but, the spike of COVID-19 cases caused the spike in enrollment in other schools, as well.

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