By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews
November 13, 2020
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — There are nearly 9,300 fewer students in West Virginia this school year than last and the decrease could cost the public education system nearly $43 million in state funding.
The state Board of Education received the certified enrollment numbers for this school year at its monthly meeting Thursday in Charleston. Those numbers show an enrollment of 252,357 which is down 9,276 from last school year. Department of Education officials said they believe the decrease is pandemic-related but right now don’t have a clear picture on where all those students have gone.
Department of Education School Operations Officer Amy Willard said they projected an enrollment drop of nearly 3,500 students under normal circumstances because of declining birth rates and families exiting the state but no one could have predicted a pandemic-aided exodus of nearly three times the original projection.
“The hope that some of these students will come back next year when they felt safer once there’s a vaccine and COVID is under control,” Willard told the state school board.