The visual below shows enrollment trends at APS for the past 27 years1. Use the drop-down options to select a school or grade, or the tabs at the top to pick a different view.
Mouse-over the visual to get exact numbers. The graph shows that total enrollment has fallen by about 2,400 students over the past two years, from 52,416 to 49,994.
The graph below shows that the 2020 (orange line) decline in enrollment was most concentrated in kindergarten, while the 2021 decline (green line) was spread more broadly, from K-6.
The drop from 2019 to 2020 was not unique to Atlanta; overall GA public school enrollment fell from 1,770K to 1,730K students during that time. However, statewide enrollment had a partial rebound this year to 1,741K, while APS saw an additional decline.
There are a few factors behind the 2021 enrollment decline at APS. One factor is underlying trends that existed before the pandemic. The graph below shows that APS had it’s largest recent kindergarten class in 2014-2015. That cohort is now in 7th grade. So there are now seven grade levels (K-6) that are past their recent enrollment peak, while there are only six grade levels that are increasing (7-12)2.
Enrollment trends also vary by cluster. The graphs below shows enrollment over time by cluster. Five clusters had enrollment declines of over 300 students from 2019 to 2021: Carver, Mays, North Atlanta, South Atlanta, and Therrell. For some clusters, like Carver, this is part of a longer trend, while North Atlanta’s drop is more specific to the pandemic3.
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- Data is from the Georgia Department of Education’s annual October student count, known as the October FTE count.
- To see the effects of this trend before the pandemic, view this graph of 2018 and 2019 enrollment.
- Use the cluster filter on the first graph in this post to view cluster enrollment trends.