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New Haven Register: CT school districts grapple with impact of declining enrollment

Brian Zahn, New Haven Register

December 25, 2020 - less than 1 minute

With vacant desks in schools, COVID-19 is the leading suspect.

Enrollment numbers have fallen by a preliminary average of 3 percent in public schools across the state and education officials say they believe the pandemic is to blame.

But while officials say the decline in enrollment is not unexpected based on demographic trends and as a response to the pandemic, they note declining numbers of students also will not impact every school district the same way, including operationally, how many students are being home-schooled, and in terms of funding through the Education Cost Sharing grant.

No district should expect to see the way they are funded to crater significantly, because of the way the state funding formula is structured to emphasize the magnitude of student need, as well as enrollment numbers, said Michael Morton, deputy executive director of the School and State Finance Project, a non-profit that analyzes state funding data.

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