ST. PAUL -- The number of students enrolled in Minnesota's public schools is down slightly this year.

The Minnesota Department of Education says public schools overall have seen a roughly 0.3 percent decrease - or about 2,150 students - in enrollment this school year, compared to last year.  According to last year's report, enrollment was two 2 percent - or 17,000 students - from the fall of 2019 to the fall of 2020.

Meanwhile, nonpublic schools saw a 5.8 percent increase.  The previous year, nonpublic schools increased enrollment by 12.4 percent.

Homeschooling dropped significantly by 10.2 percent.  That's after a previous year where homeschooling jumped by nearly 50 percent.

This year's public kindergarten class saw an increase of 5.2 percent, showing a rebound from the 9 percent decrease that was seen between the fall of 2019 to the fall of 2020. Enrollment increased among Hispanic or Latino students by 3.7 percent, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander students increased 8.1 percent, and students identifying as two or more races increased 4.2 percent. Asian students and white students both declined by about 1 percent. Black students saw the smallest percentage decrease of just 0.2 percent.

Public school students identified as English language learners increased by 5.4 percent, and the number of students needing special education grew by 1.5 percent.

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The enrollment data for this school year is based on what enrollment counts looked like on October 1st, 2021.

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