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Indiana’s COVID Enrollment Dip Driven By 10,000 Fewer Preschoolers, Kindergartners

When Pike Township opened a new child care center in 2019, it was expected to grow each year. But instead of expanding this fall, enrollment at the fledgling preschool fell by nearly 40% from last year to 130 children.

At the same time, the number of kindergartners in the Indianapolis district dipped by more than 20%.

Pike Township is not alone. As Indiana parents keep their children home because of the coronavirus and opt out of online learning, districts are reporting the largest enrollment drops among young children. About 10,000 fewer preschool and kindergarten students enrolled in Indiana schools this fall, a Chalkbeat analysis found. That 10% decline drove statewide enrollment losses compared with last year.

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