The Montana State Office of Public Instruction has published the total number of all students enrolled in public, private, and home schools.
The KGVO spoke with Montana Superintendent of Public Education Elsie Arntzen about the numbers.
“I am really happy to report that our public school enrollments are on the rise and that means everything that has happened in the last 18 months of the pandemic where we have seen more work at the table of the kitchen and then we had our young kids from kindergarten to college who were mostly at home now have returned, but we’re also looking to see if these are new registrations, ”Arntzen said.
Arntzen singled out the numbers in Montana schools.
“We have the highest for 20 years,” Arntzen said. “We have children in school that include those in public, private and of course our homeschools in Montana and the number stands at 165,336.”
Arntzen said the number of students in Montana public schools has peaked nearly 20 years.
“We can break that down until we have a two and a half percent increase in our public school enrollment,” she said. “This is the highest number of children enrolled in a public school from kindergarten to high school in 19 years, or 149,334.”
Arntzen thanked parents who have chosen public schools for their children and urged them to work with local school boards to improve their children’s education.
“Parents choose public school,” she said. “It just means that that voice on the microphone at school board meetings is there for a reason. There is a reason to say that “Trustees, we want to trust you”. We want our children to be educated in the public school systems in Montana, but that also tells our principals, that they also need to trust parents, that it’s a two-way street, that our parents, our teachers and our school leaders must unite for the education of our children for our future ”.
The real numbers are 149,334 students enrolled in public schools; Montana homeschool enrollment fell from 9,668 to 7,368 students, a drop of 25.3%. This is the second highest number of registrations over the past 30 years, with last year being the highest; the largest increase came from private school enrollment, which rose from 7,600 to 8,364, marking an increase of 13.6%, the highest private school enrollment in 14 years.
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