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How to Combat Public High School Enrollment Decline

  • Joanna
  • August 19, 2022

Over the past two years, we’ve seen historic declines in public school enrollment, especially among students in grades K-8. While public school enrollment for high school students (grades 9-12) has actually increased, the uptick has been for public charter school enrollment, not traditional public school enrollment. Read the full report from The Journal.

From 2019-2021, we also saw a massive increase in the number of students who were homeschooled — from 2.5 million in the spring of 2019 to nearly 9 million at the end of 2020 — according to an article from Admissionly.

To understand how public schools can retain students and continue to increase high school enrollment, we need to know why parents are opting for charter schooling and homeschooling instead of traditional public schooling.

U.S. News and World Report shared a few reasons why parents may opt for charter schools instead of public schools, including:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Specialized curricula such as a focus on the arts, STEM, or ecology
  • Accountability to parents and the local community rather than a district
  • A focus on student-centered learning instead of test scores

Homeschooling has much of the appeal of charter schools but offers even more flexibility. Parents can choose the curriculum and design the school day. They aren’t bound by a traditional 5-day-a-week schedule and can really take their students’ education into their own hands. However, it requires a parent to be present and active in every aspect of their child’s education, which isn’t a reality for many parents.

Increases in homeschooled students and charter school enrollment reveal that parents are looking for more flexibility and customization for their children’s education, and traditional public schools can offer this to parents by providing a catalog of teacher-facilitated online courses that can be completed anytime and anywhere.

Interested in learning how Graduation Alliance is helping school districts like yours provide families with flexible, personalized education options? Fill out our request for information form.