MDE: Minnesota public school enrollment down 0.3% from last year

Enrollment in Minnesota public schools has dropped slightly from last year, the state’s education department says.

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) released data from the 2022-23 school year on Thursday, showing roughly a 0.3% decrease in student enrollment in the state’s public schools from the 2021-22 year, which equates to around 2,427 students.

The drop in public school enrollment was charter schools’ and other nonpublic schools’ gain.

MDE’s data shows charter school enrollment is up 1.9% this school year, while other nonpublic schools saw a 3.4% boost.

At the same time, the number of homeschooled students dropped by 5%, a reversal from the high interest in homeschooling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With public school funding tied directly to student enrollment, budgets also took a hit. Gov. Tim Walz has said his budget proposal would “stabilize education” by investing in the general education formula, which is the main source of operating funds for school districts, and indexing the formula to inflation.

“Minnesota’s students deserve high-quality academic instruction and social-emotional supports,” MDE Commissioner Willie Jett said in a statement. “Our public schools must be provided with the necessary resources to meet these needs.”

Breaking down the changes by demographic, MDE reported enrollment increases among Hispanic or Latino students (3.2%), Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander students (8.4%), Black students (0.2%), Asian students (0.4%), and students identifying as two or more races (2.8%). Enrollment for white students dropped by 1.5%.

More enrollment data is available online.