CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — More than 9,000 fewer students are enrolled in West Virginia’s public schools for the 2020-2021 school year. The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) reported the latest enrollment during the latest monthly meeting of the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE).
Both the WVDE and WVBE attributed the decreased enrollment to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the school system.
The WVDE revealed the decreased enrollment represents an estimated $42.7 million loss in school funding for the 2021-2022 academic year. The department reported the loss could translate to the potential loss of hundreds of jobs for both professional and service personnel.
According to the Oct. 1, 2020, certified headcount enrollment, 252,357 students are enrolled in public schools in the state. This number, a decrease of 9,276 students since last year, included those who are participating in virtual and in-person instruction. Virtual school enrollment is 47,960 for the state.
“This is an issue that will have to be discussed during the upcoming legislative session,” said WVBE President Miller Hall. “We anticipate a significant portion of these students will return to public school once we have a vaccine and families feel more comfortable with that decision.”
Enrollment data for the 2020-21 school year is available at https://zoomwv.k12.wv.us/Dashboard/dashboard/28116