Changes in enrollment, as well as the demographic makeup of students, can impact public schools and the companies that serve them considerably. Enrollment is an important factor in determining the federal, state and local funding schools receive.
For PreK-12 educational publishers looking to address the needs of a changing student body, a good source of information is Simba Information's June 2020 report, PreK-12 Enrollment and Demographics, 2020-2021.
PreK-12 Enrollment & Demographics, 2020-2021 analyzes national and state enrollment trends and demographics in the U.S. For example, it includes the most recent information available on how many public schools are charter schools and the growth trend for prekindergarten programs.
At mid-year 2020, it is difficult to predict how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact PreK-12 enrollment and demographics over time. One early change likely will be a reduction in the number of private schools as institutions already facing financial challenges may close. Meanwhile, parents may find it harder to pay tuition.
Virtual school operators are starting conversations with states that have not been interested before but now may partner to offer an online education option. More broadly, online and blended learning likely will get new consideration at the state, local and family levels.
There may be a larger market for products that can remediate learning gaps and address standards across multiple grade levels. That is because of early indications that many students are falling behind where they would have progressed to if schools had not closed. Socioeconomic gaps likely will widen as students who did not have access to computers, reliable connectivity and productive instruction fall further behind their better situated schoolmates.