How Did COVID Affect Elmhurst D-205 Enrollment?

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ELMHURST, IL — Elmhurst School District 205 is like a lot of places: Debates over remote learning led to warnings that parents would pull their children from the public schools and send them to private school.

Some did. But not at the level seen in other school districts, an expert said Tuesday.

As of this school year, the district's enrollment is 8,227, a drop of 3.5 percent from 8,522 in the 2019-20 school year. The district's enrollment increased in the two years before the pandemic.

Statewide, public school enrollment is 1.9 million, a drop of 5.1 percent since 2019.

"This district didn't have as much impact due to COVID like a lot of districts we've seen. We're seeing a 3 to 6 percent decline because of those two years," demographer Matt Cropper told the school board. "You had a decline, but it wasn't at the level of other school districts."

He added, "We're not out in the clear yet. But it's promising to see your enrollment has maintained the stability it has, even in the midst of COVID."

Last month, an NPR study found that dropping public school enrollment is the result of an increase in home-schooling, a shift to charter and private schools, and delays in entering pre-kindergarten or kindergarten.

Cropper's demographic study of Elmhurst projected that local public school enrollment would rise 4.6 percent in the next decade.

This article originally appeared on the Elmhurst Patch

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