A new study has shown that enrollment in New York City’s public schools is declining. According to data released by the Department of Education, there has been a 1.8% drop since last year in registration, from 919,000 students in 2021 to 903,000 this year.
First Deputy Chancellor Dan Weisberg believes that one reason for this decrease is long-term trends in birth rates. While birth rates may be impactful, this trend is mostly attributed to the changing attitudes of people amidst the Covid Pandemic.
As restrictions that limited social life and orders to ‘stay at home’ intensified, since 2020, many New Yorkers left their apartments in the city and resettled in suburban areas, where houses are cheaper in some areas, larger and surrounded by green spaces. Even if now things are going back to normal, many people who have adjusted to this new lifestyle, away from the chaos of the city, do not intend to go back.
The Board of Education has reported data that show that the most popular destination for most families who left New York is New Jersey, where 9,376 new students now attend school there. Next up are the Southern states, with about 8,500 new students and then Florida, which totals almost 6 thousand new pupils. Pennsylvania comes in fourth with about 5 thousand new enrollments.
The decrease in enrollment in NYC schools has already prompted significant budget cuts to the public school system. Public officials had hoped that as the year unfolded normally in terms of pandemic restrictions, registration in NYC schools would go back to normal. As this has proven not to be the case, there is a growing sentiment that Mayor Eric Adams could propose new budget cuts.
The talk of further budget cuts arrives at a time where an increased influx of illegal migrants has shaken the city’s ability to cope. What many are wondering is if the budget cuts on education, as controversial as they may be, could help divert money towards housing the migrants.
The question being asked is, where are the approximately 400 million dollars that the government saved on education, being redirected to?
A Bloomberg study shows how the city will spend between 500 million dollars and 1 billion to provide temporary food, shelter and first aid to the 15,000 migrants that have been welcomed by New York City. While almost 1 billion dollars may seem an exorbitant sum, it is just an estimate of the short-term costs.