LAUSD enrollment decline continues during online learning, with unexpected drop of 6,000 kindergarteners

Enrollment at the Los Angeles Unified School District has continued its downward trend for the 2020-21 academic year, with the decline in kindergarten enrollment — especially in the school system’s lowest-income neighborhoods — about three times as large as in recent years.

“Overall enrollment is down at about the same level as prior years,” L.A. schools Supt. Austin Beutner said in remarks broadcast Monday morning. “The main drivers of this are the lack of affordable housing in the communities served by our schools and the continued decline in birth rate.”

But the district’s youngest students are absent in the greatest numbers, a possible reflection of the hardships many families are grappling with during the COVID-19 pandemic and their inability to guide young children through the rigors of distance learning.