The Oklahoma State Department of Education has reported a decrease in enrollment in schools across the state for the first time in nearly two decades. The state said more students are taking advantage of virtual options because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
OSDE reported a loss of more than 9,500 students, which accounts for about one percent of last year’s total enrollment. The department said the most significant drop-off is in prekindergarten and kindergarten students, which account for 75% of the overall enrollment decrease.
The state said more students are choosing to learn virtually because of COVID-19. Joy Hofmeister, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, said the department will give more attention to learning opportunities for younger kids.
OSDE also reported a decrease in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa districts but noted Epic Charter School has seen enrollment numbers more than double.