California school enrollment drops even more — and somehow, 'experts' are befuddled

They think it's a COVID problem.  They call it a "gentrification" issue.  They say it's housing costs.  They say it's "demographics."

That's the response from the "experts" to the damning news about California's school enrollment.

According to CalMatters:

For the first time since the start of the century, California has fewer than 6 million students attending public schools.

According to new data released by the California Department of Education, enrollment in public schools continues to drop more quickly than it did before the pandemic, stirring fears of more budget cuts and long-term financial instability for schools. 

Among key takeaways from the newly released data:

  • Statewide enrollment has dropped by more than 110,000 students to 5,892,240 during the current school year, a 1.8% dip from last year but less steep than the 2.6% decline during the first year of the pandemic.
  • Charter school enrollment also is down for the first time since at least 2014.
  • Kindergarten enrollment is up, though nowhere near pre-pandemic levels.
  • And 9,000 more students are enrolled in private schools, a 1.7% increase, but that doesn't explain much of the exodus from public schools.

What they don't say is that mask mandates, vaccine mandates, Zoom classes, wokester Critical Race Theory in the classrooms, drag queen story hour, school officials working behind parents' backs to promote transgenderism among kids and treat their parents as enemies, state-encouraged abortion on demand, ending advanced and honors classes in the name of "equity," and massive numbers of Californians fleeing the state for economic and tax reasons have all taken their toll on enrollment.  Chase the locals out, don't be surprised to see fewer kids in school.  It's called "voting with their feet."

You don't see that anywhere in any of the reportage on this phenomenon of missing kids in school, nor do we see much link between the fact that around half of kids aren't going to class anymore because they can't stand Zoom classes.

The press accounts say the pandemic is over now, so maybe the worst is over, but additional reportage from a few months earlier suggests that the problem isn't over at all.

According to the Public Policy Institute:

Over the next decade, declines are projected to accelerate, with statewide enrollment expected to fall 9% by 2030–31. The interactive below shows significant variation in past and projected enrollment across the state. Most counties are projected to see lower enrollment over the next decade, particularly in Southern California, along the coast, and in much of the Central Valley. Projected declines are greatest in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties — roughly 20% lower by 2030–31. The declines in Los Angeles County are particularly noteworthy: county enrollment has already fallen over 10% in the past decade, and enrollment in 2030–31 is projected to be 30% lower than it was in 2010–11.

Accelerate, they say.

In some areas, according to the Los Angeles Times, schools are actually closing.

Already, districts such as L.A. Unified and Oakland Unified are considering school closures as part of their effort to deal with the effects of falling enrollment.

But instead of confronting the real reasons why this is happening, we are seeing befuddled responses like this:

Officials at the California Department of Education did not have a clear explanation for this sudden drop. 

The California Charter Schools Association President Myrna Castrejón said this decline illustrates how charter schools "are facing the same statewide challenges as non-charter public schools." She called for equitable funding for charters. 

We are seeing head-scratching like this:

California Department of Education officials would not comment on where those students went. Some school district officials said they also are looking for answers.

"It's a problem across all grade levels," said Barrett Snider of Capitol Advisors, a lobbying firm for school districts. "We just aren't sure where they've gone."

And we are seeing "everybody does it" and "everybody has the same problem" in rationalizations like this:

The decline is not unique to Los Angeles or California.

Enrollment dropped across the nation as families and school systems grappled with the pandemic. In Los Angeles, for instance, many worried families kept their children at home when they had a choice to return to campus.

This is true, as I wrote about here last year — but only insofar as other states' educational institutions resemble wokester California's.  Parents everywhere are rejecting wokesterism and pulling their kids out of bad schools.  Nobody has made that link in the press, or in the embattled schools, either.

Surely, the decline in academic standards based on wokester "equity" concerns should make the people running these failing institutions recognize what is happening.  But it doesn't, and the press isn't asking about it.

The schools' wokester policies are probably the biggest factor lowering the quality of education for kids and driving enrollment down.  Parents in general who pay attention to the quality of their children's schools are going to hold educational quality as something important.  That was obvious enough to all but the lefties when three school board members in San Francisco were thrown out of office in an unprecedented recall election over the wokester direction of the schools this year, as well as the scrapping of honors at competitive institutions such as Lowell High School.  That's just San Francisco.  A major high school in San Diego, Patrick Henry High School, just dropped all honors classes in the name of "equity," something that absolutely will chase more kids out from that once-vaunted institution.  Los Angeles, brimming with wokesters, has done one bad thing after another and has an illegals influx as well.  Not surprisingly, it has seen the biggest drop-off in enrollment of any place in the state.

Can there be an honest "conversation" about wokesterism, Critical Race Theory, transgender promotion, and other things that absolutely repel school consumers?  It's so bad that even the charter schools are infected with it.

Probably not, given the failure of any news reporter to ask the serious questions.  But it's obviously taking a toll.  Too bad the schools don't want to know it.

Image: Pixabay, Pixabay License.

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