The Indiana Department of Education is reporting a slight uptick in student enrollment this school year, largely because of an increase of early elementary students.
The department attributes most of the slight enrollment boost to kindergartners.
In a news release, it said kindergarten enrollment grew this school year by a little more than 5 percent, as parents send their kids to schools for the first time after keeping them home because of COVID-19.
Holly Lawson is the department spokesperson and said the state's overall enrollment increase is small, but important.
"This is a modest increase of 0.7 percent from the previous school year, but that's important because last school year we saw a dip in enrollment," she said.
State data indicates Indiana's public schools enrolled 1,051,051 in the 2019-2020 school year, and that number dropped to 1,033,781 for the 2020-2021 school year.
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This school year, public schools saw overall enrollment increase by 0.2 percent, or 2,999 students. Meanwhile, nonpublic schools saw a larger jump with 4,672 more students enrolled – an increase of 5.9 percent.
According to the release, Indiana schools currently serve roughly 1.12 million students. About 1.03 million of them are enrolled in public schools, while more than 83,000 are enrolled in nonpublic schools.