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COVID, birth rates affect Colorado public schools enrollment

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Posted at 9:38 AM, Jan 22, 2022

DENVER (AP) — Enrollment has continued declining across Colorado public schools.

The Colorado Sun reports the state counted about 1,200 fewer students in kindergarten through 12th grade this fall than last year, when enrollment in preschool through high school plunged by about 30,000 students.

Officials largely attributed last year’s slump to parents’ pandemic-driven decisions. But the dip in K-12 students this year points to an underlying issue that has nothing to do with the pandemic: declining birth rates.

During fiscal year 2021, Colorado had 61,970 births, down about 9,000 from 2007, a peak year that saw 70,777 births.

The decrease comes even though Colorado has more women of childbearing age.