Washington districts facing steep enrollment declines consider closing schools

This year’s public school enrollment count shows that many districts are starting to gain back students for the first time since the pandemic.

Overall, public school enrollment across Washington has climbed by about 2,000 students this year, a 0.2% increase from last year, according to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Enrollment reached a high in 2019 with 1,146,882 students and dropped to a low of 1,091,343 in the 2021-22 school year. This year, 1,098,997 students are enrolled.

But many districts in the Puget Sound region continue to record student numbers that are well below the enrollment they enjoyed before the pandemic, which has resulted in dire financial binds. In places where enrollment has dipped the most, such as Bainbridge Island, administrators are now grappling with potential school closures.

Read more from The Seattle Times.

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