Sep 19, 2022 - News

Public school enrollment up in Miami-Dade this year

Illustration of school desks, some of them cut out with nothing behind them.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Miami-Dade County Public Schools leads the tri-county area in school enrollment totals this year.

Driving the news: The number of students at Miami-Dade public schools rose by 1.5% over last year.

  • Broward County saw a decrease in public school enrollment; Palm Beach County saw a slight increase.

By the numbers: Miami-Dade counted 4,765 more students this year than last year, bringing its total enrollment to nearly 325,000 in its latest count (Sept. 1).

  • Broward County experienced a 2% decrease, according to a preliminary count from the first day of school in August.
  • Palm Beach County enrollment saw a slight increase of about 350 students (0.2%), according to its latest calculations released Aug. 31.

The big picture: Public schools nationwide have seen an exodus of students during the pandemic, Axios' Erin Doherty writes.

  • The uncertainty of schooling over the past two years has prompted some parents to send their children to private or parochial schools, while others opted for home schooling.
  • In Florida, enrollment in public schools has declined 1% since the start of the pandemic, according to a national survey by the American Enterprise Institute and the College Crisis Initiative at Davidson College.

What they're saying: "The pandemic took a toll on so many of us, so I think we realize that our schools need to provide additional help throughout the year to assure that we maintain a safe and healthy learning environment," Lucia Baez-Geller, a Miami-Dade School Board member, told Axios.

  • That includes offering after-school tutoring and Saturday class sessions, Baez-Geller said, as well as making the classroom a welcoming and inclusive environment.
  • She said that under superintendent Jose Dotres, the district has placed a renewed emphasis on supporting students emotionally as well as academically.

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