April 4, 2023
California Department of Education Releases Data That Show Increased Enrollment for Young Learners, Overall Enrollment Decline of Less Than 1 Percent
Self-Reported Private School Enrollment Data Also Show Decline
SACRAMENTO—The California Department of Education (CDE) released data today that show student enrollment is beginning to stabilize with increased enrollment in kindergarten and grades seven and eleven.
The increases held enrollment statewide to a 0.67 percent decline, which pushes closer to pre-pandemic trends. The enrollment trend mirrors reports from other states, including Michigan , Virginia and Illinois .
The numbers released today are from a point-in-time “Census Day” headcount taken on October 5, 2022. The data are reported to the state by local educational agencies (LEAs), which include more than 900 school districts, 58 county offices of education, and about 1,300 charter schools. Changes are anticipated as a more detailed picture of enrollment becomes available later this year. This additional information will include local corrections to submitted data and student population fluctuations during the year.
For the 2022–23 academic year, preliminary enrollment figures show the statewide total at 5,852,544 students, down 39,696 (or 0.67 percent) from the previous year. In comparison, academic year 2021–22 showed a statewide decline of 1.84 percent, representing more than 110,000 students; 2020–21 showed a 2.6 percent decline, representing more than 160,000 students.
Private school affidavits filed with the state also show a self-reported decline in private school enrollment of 3,147 students.
At grade level, the latest enrollment data show that the largest increases in statewide public school enrollment were in kindergarten, seventh, and eleventh grades. The largest decreases were in second, eighth, and tenth grades.
In reviewing the demographic data for release, the CDE noted a significant increase in the “Not Reported” student group—a 117 percent increase in the category from the prior year. The CDE research revealed a large anomaly in this category from the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), California’s largest school district. LAUSD is implementing a fix that will be utilized in the end-of-year student-level data collection. In the interim, “Norm Day” enrollment numbers from LAUSD can be located on the LAUSD Open Data Dashboard . Overall, percentage increases and decreases among student groups may change when cumulative enrollment and student group outcome data is released in the fall.
It has been a state priority to work to ensure that families are engaged in public schools and that schools meet family needs. Over the last four years, Governor Gavin Newsom, the Legislature, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond have worked together to secure $23.8 billion in programs and initiatives to engage families and students in public schools, address and dismantle barriers to student success, and jumpstart learning recovery.
These investments include:
- The California $4.7 billion Master Plan for Kids’ Mental Health: All young people ages zero to twenty-five will have ready access to mental health supports both inside and outside of school.
- Universal Free Meals: All students, regardless of income, have access to two free school meals per day—up to 12 million meals per day statewide.
- Expanded Learning: Elementary school students from low-income households, foster youth, and English learners have access to enrichment programs year-round and nine hours per day. At full scale in 2025, the $4 billion-per-year effort will serve an additional 1.5 million students per year.
- The Community Schools Partnership Program: $4.1 billion will be allocated to roughly one out of every three schools in California to focus more on student and parent engagement, expanded access to mental health supports, and wraparound services.
Learn more about Superintendent Thurmond’s Transforming California Schools initiatives by visiting the CDE Transforming Schools web page. To review all California public school enrollment-related data for the 2022–23 academic year, visit the CDE DataQuest site.
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Tony Thurmond —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100