The Arizona Department of Education released statewide public-school enrollment numbers for the 2021/2022 school year, showing an increase of approximately 20,300 or 1.8% compared to the 2020/2021 school year.
District enrollment is up 2.57% compared to last school year, while charter school enrollment dipped slightly by .62% compared to last school year.
Notably, English language learner enrollment increased by nearly 11% compared to last school year. Impressive gains were also seen in preschool and kindergarten enrollment, which saw the greatest declines last school year.
At the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 through the following school year, many Arizona families made the difficult decision to unenroll or became otherwise disengaged with their child’s public school.
This led to Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman and the Department to create a new, innovative Ready for School AZ campaign, focusing on students and families at a high-risk of being unenrolled or not re-engaging with their public school for the 2021/2022 school year.
“These official enrollment figures show that students are returning to public school classrooms after last year’s drop in enrollment,” said Supt. Hoffman. “Statewide and local re-engagement efforts were clearly successful in helping students return to the classroom this school year.”
“And while we have more work to do to fully return our student counts to pre-pandemic levels, the trend is now moving in the right direction,” Supt. Hoffman said. “It is imperative for the state to be laser-focused on providing resources to classrooms and recruiting and retaining qualified educators to meet the needs of our students.”
School counselors, social workers, educators and other staff also put an enormous effort into working with their students and families to safely welcome them back to in-person learning.
In April 2021, Hoffman announced $21.3 million dollars to supplement the School Safety Grant Program, allowing all the unfunded school counselor and social worker positions on the program wait lists to be completely funded for the next two years.
ADE and Arizona public schools have and will continue to be prepared to welcome students back into the classroom. Our public schools have received over $4 billion dollars in federal relief and recovery dollars to support academic acceleration, mental health support and ADE encourages schools to utilize available funding to re-engage students and parents.
Complete enrollment numbers are available here.