Nearly 2,500 fewer students are enrolled in Prince William County Public Schools than a year ago, according to data from the school division.

If the numbers maintain, it would mark the first time in many years that enrollment in the school system has declined. Public school systems are required to report fall enrollment figures to the Virginia Department of Education on Sept. 30 every year.

The latest count shows Prince William with 89,076 students enrolled this fall. That’s down from 91,524 a year ago, a 2.6% decline, and School Board Chair Babur Lateef says it’s about 3,000 fewer students than the system budgeted.

“Those enrollment numbers, we hope, are temporary due to the pandemic,” Lateef said this week. Indeed, although the state education department has not released the fall enrollment figures yet, reports from other areas of the state indicate fewer students are attending public schools as parents turn to private schools or homeschooling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decline in enrollment could mean that the school system would receive $15.9 million less in state funds, which are allocated based on the numbers of students. However, Lateef said he expects the General Assembly may help local school systems close that funding gap.

The city of Manassas school system reported a fall enrollment of 7,607, down from 7,789 a year ago, according to state data. Information from the Manassas Park public school system was not available. Last fall, Manassas Park had 3,640 enrolled students, according to the state.

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(11) comments

Omarndc72

Hope parents finally got tired of garbage education from public school and start home schooling and looking at private schools.

InsideCommenter

Prince William County Schools are above average I can understand why enrollment is down because of the pandemic however I fully expect that number to go up as things get better.

Wake Up & Smell The Coffee!

Alas! The unforeseen benefit of the lockdowns. Parents unprecedentedly had a seat in their children’s classroom. Educators & curriculum were on full display (daily) for parent’s to see. And what many witnessed was a sight to behold! Inept teachers, a politically motivated/biased curriculum and/or an over-reliance/abuse of parental support. This left many disenchanted parents choosing to take matters into their own hands. They’re fleeing the public school system to ensure a better education. Some are choosing private or parochial schools. Other parents are home-schooling. Affording families curriculum control, personalized school hours, less hours needed to accomplish the same workload (1:1 student to teacher) and an education that’s consistent with each family’s values.

Not every teacher, curriculum or district will fall into these untoward categories. But I still believe that the face of public school education is about to change drastically. Hopefully, it will come in the form of school choice, objective curriculums and de-unionizing teachers.

JimiWeaver4

Your comment is so ignorant that it is laughable. The local public school systems provide some of the best educational experiences in America. I have two children, who both graduated from our local public school system. One will soon become a commercial pilot, his love of aerodynamics and the weather bolstered by very knowledgeable high school science teachers. My daughter, upon her high school graduation received a four-year full ride academic college scholarship, with which she graduated summa cum laude. She will soon receive her Doctorate of Pharmacy.

My children’s local public school education was exemplary and prepared them for the rigors of college and their future professional lives.

Wake Up & Smell The Coffee!

Ignorant? No. It’s just a case of discordant opinions. Unfortunately, your first sentence, it showed your caliber of person. So I’ll refrain from seeking meaningful dialogue with you (a carping critic).

JimiWeaver4

While my replay was meant for the original commenter and not @Wakeup and smell the coffee, my use of the word ignorant was uncalled for and for that I do apologize.

411Catharpin

When star wars movies pass for science, when 7th grade level books pass.for high school texts when the teachers union leads the school cmte by the nose and classes are dumber down so "we all feel good about school" it is time to home school or.send your child to a catholic/private school where education actually matters. PWCou type schools may have had a hay day buy it sure is gone.

Wake Up & Smell The Coffee!

@ 411Catharpin - I genuinely appreciate your straightforward, common sense comments! Long before the pandemic, public schools needed an overhaul. The pandemic served to solidify the reasons.

Stoptheinsanity

The teachers give it everything they have 16+ hours a day so to blame them shows ignorance of the real problem. The elected officials and school board leaders that have never thought. They buy into these programs for millions a year. It forces the teachers to constantly rearrange their curriculums. It puts the goal line at state test scores which get revenue. The school boards don't want the kids to pass because it get more funds. The teachers just want to teach. Part of learning is building relationships with the students. Unfortunately the school leaders don't understand that. Teachers are too busy filing forms and going to meetings that they cannot do their jobs. Another sign of the times. Running life with a spread sheet doesn't work. Maybe someday all these idiots will figure it out. It's time to stop reimagining our oldest institutions and stick to the tried and true. People have reimagined the wheel so many times that it is square now.

Grace T

Less enrollment means less federal money as well as state. Good for parents that they are voting with their dollars (state and federal)!

Apparently PWCPS AND PWCSB are tone deaf to parents and students desire for traditional attendance. Good question that the Supervisor Candland asked the Board: how has the $50M CARES act money being spent to implement in-person learning? The answer is ZERO! ☹

**AND NOW VOTE WITH YOUR LOCAL TAX DOLLARS!**

PARENTS AND TAXPAPERS SHOULD DEMAND OF BOS 28% REDUCTION IN PROPERTY TAXES SINCE THE BURDEN OF EDUCATION IS EQUALLY SHARED BY PARENTS. The delayed opening means parents continue to de facto homeschool. How is that number derived? Local tax funding is split 57.2% for PWCPS and 42.8 for the County Government. So, on an average $4355 property tax each household should receive a rebate of $1246, an ample amount for a STRESS-FREE online homeschool curriculum.

The School is totally opposite of the God’s Son Jesus Christ when He came to earth 2000 years ago as 100% human being. Was He selfish? Did He fool or bruise anyone? NEVER! He was GOOD, HONEST, and TRUTHFUL. He condemned the political-religious ruling class to their face for what they were: hypocrites, oppressors, and money-grabbers. For that reason, those powermongers hated Him so much that they wanted to murder Him and DID!

But Jesus was filled with compassion and IMMEDIATELY MET with and healed countless patients with horrible diseases (no appointments in advance, no co-pay, no co-insurance, no out-of-pocket expenses). He accommodated everyone that came to Him such that He couldn’t even eat—and absolutely no personal and/or social distancing!

At the end, He sacrificed HIMSELF for our spiritual covid-19 of sin and evildoing (yes, we are all infected not just Board and Admin). All His precious pure blood that flowed down the tree where He was nailed provided the perfect antidote for our deadly disease, SIN. The Law Book states: for the wages of sin is death. (To read more about Jesus, go to Biblehub.com 😊 and search Luke NLT 1-24.)

ALSO MAKE A COROLLARY DEMAND TO BOS: the humongous $1.3B PWCPS budget should be slashed by half.

WHY? --Teachers who can’t or won’t work in-person should have their salary reduced by 50% and the other 50% transferred to parents as discussed above.

-- Less use of physical facilities like buildings, equipment, computers, hvac etc therefore less wear and tear and maintenance costs and should need less labor

-- Benefits of physical assets and in building services have been reduced to students and therefore provide less value to their education

-- All group activities (e.g. sports) are basically non-existent and so their associated costs are also greatly reduced.

-- By being virtual, the labor pool is essentially NATIONWIDE, we should be able to hire teachers that work virtually from outside PW County and in fact, outside the state for the time being where they are willing to accept lower wages due to lower cost of living as long as they have a good internet connection.

THEREFORE PWC RESIDENTS, vote with your hard-earned pandemic money if the School won’t use the budget to do its job!!

Halyork

Best decision a parent can make is removing their children from these sick and disgusting dumbed down brainwashing institutions.

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