By Alex Newman
As schools reopen for the new year, the number of children enrolled in government schools is plummeting all across the United States amid an escalating exodus of families moving toward home education and private-school options. Government education officials are freaking out.
The decline in enrollment is more dramatic in Big Government, Democrat-run states that were the most extreme when it came to imposing COVID restrictions and where citizens are fleeing. However, even many conservative-leaning states and districts are seeing declines as families seek other options.
In New York City, government schools have lost 120,000 students over the last five years, according to data cited in news reports provided by NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks. New York City Mayor Eric Adams described it as a “hemorrhaging of families” leaving the school system.
The government schools in New York City lost almost one in ten students just during COVID — and it does not seem like those children will ever be coming back. At around 955,000, it is the lowest number of students in the city’s government schools in at least 15 years.
Naturally, the Department of Education is scrambling to find ways to sucker families back into the system. “Whenever a student doesn’t enroll in our public schools, we lose money,” NYC school boss Banks said. “And our schools are feeling that impact.”
Every single district within the city lost students. District 18 in Brooklyn saw the biggest drop, going from almost 14,000 in 2019 to just over 11,000 in the last school year, as the number of families enrolled in some homeschool programs there more than doubled.
Public-school numbers for New York are expected to be even smaller for the coming year.
In Chicago, the situation is even bleaker for the government-school system. According to news reports, enrollment in Chicago Public Schools is expected to plunge by more than 100,000 between 2015 and 2025 out of a total of less than 400,000. Officials are boasting that this will mean more tax money is spent per student.
California is also facing massive declines in the number of children in public schools. More than 270,000 children have left the state’s government education system since COVID began, causing enrollment to drop below 6 million for the first time in more than 20 years.
While the numbers vary by district, California Department of Education data show an almost 5 percent drop just over the last few years. In Los Angeles, enrollment has fallen by more than 10 percent since COVID and more than 40 percent from the early 2000s.
The Golden State exodus is expected to continue as officials scramble for excuses to explain it.
Even outside of areas governed by far-left Democrats, families are fleeing. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, for instance, the number of children in government schools has declined by almost a third since 2008. Now the district is considering closing schools and shedding real estate.
While U.S. taxpayers were fleeced for gargantuan “COVID relief” bailouts that have helped keep some of the districts’ budgets from imploding, the financial repercussions of the massive exodus cannot be ignored indefinitely. As the number of students falls, funding must inevitably fall, too.
“You’re going to have to sell buildings when they become empty,” warned Daniel Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators. “You’re going to have to exit staff because you won’t need the number of teachers that you have.”
The exodus from government schools is real, it is massive, it is accelerating, it is set to continue indefinitely, and it represents incredibly good news for millions of children saved from the system. Each of those children now has a chance to receive a legitimate education.
While COVID may have played a role in the exodus, the real underlying reason for the exodus is that parents love their children, and they are starting to recognize that the government’s indoctrination centers are harming their precious offspring. The sooner more parents realize that, the better.