Across the country, millions of students that were expected to enroll in school last Fall did not show up. Public schools are searching for these “missing students” and working to get them back to school, either virtually or brick and mortar.
The enrollment drop stands to impact more than just the missing students. Education funding follows the student, so enrollment drops could lead to funding losses that have lasting impacts on all public school students. While some families may choose other schooling options, traditional public schools are the only schools constitutionally required to accept any students in their county. Federal stimulus dollars are helping schools, but they can’t replace the ongoing support from state funding.
In this brief, the Jacksonville Public Education Fund will discuss the funding implications of the pandemic for Florida students and make several recommendations to ensure equitable outcomes for students.
To learn more about the basic terms and funding mechanisms used for Florida's schools, check out JPEF's research brief "Demystifying School Funding" (Fall 2011).