As pandemic drags on, nearly every San Antonio school district tallied a drop in enrollment

click to enlarge Most San Antonio school districts reported enrollment declines since the 2018-19 school year. - UNSPLASH / MCHE LEE
UnSplash / MChe Lee
Most San Antonio school districts reported enrollment declines since the 2018-19 school year.
A new Express-News investigation highlights just how significantly San Antonio school attendance has slipped during the pandemic.

Enrollment numbers are down in 11 of the city's 14 school districts since the 2018-19 academic year, according to the daily's number crunching. Even districts that have logged major population gains during that period, such as Northside ISD, recorded enrollment declines.

The numbers appear to back up educators' concerns that economic hardships and other curveballs thrown by the ongoing COVID crisis have kept students away from the classroom.

“There’s social issues; loss of jobs, grief … mental health issues … lingering COVID effects, illnesses,” Northside's assistant director of student advocacy, Pam Gould, told the Express-News. “There’s also fear, anxiety [about] coming back and being exposed. And not only being exposed to COVID, but also of ‘How much have I missed?’ and ‘I’m not used to being exposed to people.’”

Northside's enrollment slid by nearly 4% from the 2018-2019 school year through the 2020-2021 school year, according to the Express-News analysis. Lackland ISD experienced the largest decrease, falling by 15.3%.

Only Ft. Sam Houston and Judson ISDs gained students during that period, recording increases of 2.5% and 8.1% respectively. Figures for the 2020-21 school year were not yet available from Edgewood ISD.

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