March 19, 2021
HELENA- Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen released Montana’s Spring 2021 student enrollment numbers today along with 2020-2021 comparative trends depicting the impact of COVID-19. Per Montana Statue, MCA 20-9-311, the Office of Public Instruction (OPI) collects annual enrollment data from school districts by the first Monday of October and February. School district budgets are dependent on these student count numbers as the structural funding of basic systems of quality public schools.
“The disruption to learning is reflected in these current 2020-2021 student enrollment numbers,” stated Superintendent Arntzen, “Current Montana statutes allow for flexibility in the state formula to acknowledge student increase and decline in enrollment. The promise of precious state tax dollars will give opportunities for students to continue learning as the as the new year school year approaches.”
- 146,432 total students: Down by 2,749 students (-1.84%) compared to 2019-2020.
- There were 102,644 elementary students, which was down by 3,912 students (-3.67%) compared to 2019-2020.
- There were 43,788 high school students, which was up by 1,163 students (+2.82%) compared to 2019-2020.
- 145,598 total students: Down by 834 students (-0.57%) compared to OCT 2020 and down by 3,583 students (-2.40%) compared to 2019-2020.
- There were 103,045 elementary students, which is up by 401 students from OCT 2020, and down by 3,511 (-3.29%) compared to 2019-2020.
- There were 42,553 high school students, which is down by 1,235 students from OCT 2020, and down by 72 students (-0.17%) compared to 2019-2020.
The data shows there has been a spring return of elementary students. The historic trend of a slight decline of high school students is also reflected in this data.
This data is considered preliminary and may change slightly over the next few weeks as school districts have until December 31st to change or certify their data.