Kindergarten, NYC, Public schools

Kindergarten Enrollment Rates Plummet As Parents Abandon NYC Department Of Education

New York City is facing a public schooling crisis as parents abandon the city’s troubled Department of Education, causing record declines in several age groups, specifically kindergarten.

According to the New York Post, 17% fewer kindergarten students were enrolled in school last year, a huge decline from the 2016-2017 academic year. The numbers dropped from 71,468 to 59,564 as of June, and experts believe the department’s unwillingness to answer concerns about safer schools with better educational resources may be to blame. In some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, parents have turned to publicly-funded, private charter schools as viable alternatives to New York Public Schools.

“Parents don’t think a general-ed public school will meet their child’s needs,” said Alina Adams, author of Getting Into NY Kindergarten.

“The fact is, the bar in New York is so low, all children could do a higher level of work.”

With a disappearing middle class and a large divide between students of higher socioeconomic status and those struggling to find resources, many parents see turning away from traditional public education as the only way to even the playing field.

“The same opportunities just aren’t there,” said Donald Niang, a father of two, who chose Global Community Charter School in Harlem over a school in his district for his kindergarten student this year. “These charter schools, they introduce kids to things that broaden their horizons and open their minds, and that means a lot to me.”

Plummeting test scores, neglected buildings, and overcrowded classrooms have also been deciding factors for parents looking to set their children up for a brighter educational future. “I made the switch, and I’m glad that I did. I have not regretted my decision,” said Harlem mom Marsha Taylor, who enrolled her two kids into a local charter school.

The NY Post reported that over 37,600 students have been transferred out of NYC, and 18,000 have been enrolled into charter schools instead. Though the city’s public school system may leave much to be desired, New York charter school students perform among the best in the country.

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