Private school enrollment in Minnesota is at its highest level since 2013, according to a new report.
Across the state, the 2021-2022 school year saw a jump of almost 4,000 students enrolled in private schools, putting the total number at around 70,000.
Only 13 counties, including southern counties like Blue Earth, Stearns and Mower, experienced a decrease in enrollment in their private schools.
Private and other nonpublic school enrollment had been steadily declining until this year. The last time private school enrollment was this high was the 2012-2013 school year, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal first reported.
Private schools exclusively in the Twin Cities metro area have seen a 6% increase in enrollment over the last two school years; Greater Minnesota has seen a 10% increase.
Only five of the 25 biggest private schools in the metro experienced a decrease in enrollment for the current school year.
According to a report from the National Catholic Educational Association, Catholic school enrollment increased by 3.8% this school year. The report calls this the first increase in two decades and the largest increase ever recorded.
Meanwhile, the Minneapolis Public Schools district was already seeing a decline in enrollment before COVID and now has lost almost 13% of its enrollment since 2019, per the Center of the American Experiment. St. Paul Public Schools has lost almost 7% of its enrollment.
Overall, public schools saw a roughly 0.3% decrease — or about 2,146 students — in enrollment.
Many families who enrolled children in private schools during COVID-19 shutdowns did not return to public schools this year, the Star Tribune reported.
Alpha News has reported on a number of issues raised by concerned parents and community members about the content being taught in Minnesota public schools.