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School enrollment down across Wisconsin

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- School enrollment is down by 25,232 students, comparing the 2019 and 2020 September headcount.

The numbers were released Thursday by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

The largest percent decrease came from students in preschool special education, 4K, and part-time kindergarten. From 2019 to 2020, the number of students in those classes decreased by 15.78% or 8,463.

That includes both public schools and choice private schools. Parental Education Options Director Chanell Crawford said, "overall, the private schools saw a decline in 4K and increase in one through twelve but a slowdown compared to last year."

Students in grades one through twelve are required by law to attend school. Those grades did not see as stark of a decline in 2020.

DISTRICT# CHANGE 2019-2020% CHANGE 2019-2020
Wausau-254-5.08
Stevens Point-170-3.36
Rhinelander-134-5.58%
Wisconsin Rapids-110-2.16
Marshfield-109-2.74%
D.C. Everest-20-.33%
Numbers are based on where students live, not reflective of school choice.

These students don't just disappear, Crawford explained, they could be homeschooled or attend private schools that do not participate in school choice. Those numbers were due today and will be released at a later date.

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Tom Lally

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