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Public school enrollment declines in Colorado

The biggest drops were seen in kindergarten and middle school enrollment, according to data released Wednesday.

COLORADO, USA — For the second time in three years, Colorado public schools saw a slight dip in enrollment, according to data released Wednesday by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE).

Prior to the recent declines, the state saw three decades of year-to-year increases.

Overall, Colorado schools posted a 0.37% decrease in enrollment this fall compared with 2021, with 3,253 fewer students in preschool through 12th grade. A total of 883,264 students in preschool through 12th grade were counted in Colorado’s public schools in October.

In 2021, year-to-year enrollment increased slightly after a 2020 decline, which was the first decrease in statewide enrollment since 1990.   

This school year, the largest declines are in kindergarten and in middle school. Kindergarten enrollment declined by 2,373 students this year, or by 3.82%. Middle school enrollment declined by 4,506 students, or 2.24%.

Among races and ethnicities, white students had the highest number change in the count, with 7,673 fewer students in 2022 compared with 2021, a 1.67% decline. American Indian or Alaska natives had the highest percentage drop with 4.65% fewer students in 2022 than in 2021.

A total of 8,674 students were counted as homeschooled this fall, compared with 10,502 in 2021. A total of 30,799 students registered in online educational programs this year, which was 583 fewer students than in 2021, or a 1.86% decrease.

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