By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Enrollment is down sharply at schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The district enrolled 439,013 students in preschool through 12th grade this fall, a 6% decline from the 466,229 enrolled last year at this time, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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However, it appears this year’s enrollment decline appears to be part of an ongoing trend. According to the district, the majority of LAUSD’s schools were under enrolled by 84% and 79% in 2018-19 and 2019-20, respectively.

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Enrollment is down almost 3% in public schools across the state, according to the California Department of Education. Public school enrollment has been on a downward trend for years, leading to school closures in smaller districts like Pasadena. Enrollment in California schools is projected to fall nearly 7% by 2027-28.

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However, this year’s drop in enrollment may have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. More parents have opted for homeschool, enrolled their children in private schools, or moved out of state for less expensive housing and being able to work remotely.