CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — An education official says enrollment in West Virginia’s public schools dropped significantly this year due to a change in prekindergarten enrollment and a declining birth rate.
West Virginia schools Superintendent Steve Paine announced Thursday there were 4,858 fewer students enrolled this year in prekindergarten through 12th grades.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports it’s the most significant drop since the 2000-01 school year. The drop could mean a reduction in statewide school funding next year.
Paine says much of the decline was attributed to changes in the enrollment cutoff date for prekindergarten. A change in state law set the age deadline for students turning 4 to July 1 instead of Sept. 1.
Enrollment also fell by 2,252 due to declining birth rates. In addition, some students withdrew from public schools to attend private or home schools.