The pandemic has taken a toll on the enrollment at Hawaii’s public schools as the student population has dipped significantly for the second year in a row.
The state Department of Education announced Wednesday that over 3,000 fewer students enrolled in the statewide public school system this year over the start of last year — a decline of 1.7%.
Combine that figure with the previous year’s enrollment decline and it indicates that Hawaii’s public schools have lost nearly 8,000 students since the 2019-2020 school year.
It’s a trend seen across the country as public schools experienced a 3% decline in enrollment last year, most of which was blamed on the coronavirus pandemic.
David Miyashiro, executive director of HawaiiKidsCAN, said lots of parents have told him they’re looking for flexible distance learning options and aren’t happy with what’s being offered by the department.
“With a shifting health situation, a lot of families want and need that flexibility,” he said.
Miyashiro said home-schooling has become a lot more attractive to many families.
“The amount of quality online options is impressive,” he said.