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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - After a big drop last year during the pandemic, enrollment in the Rochester Public Schools stabilized this year.

The Rochester School Board will be presented this evening with the official 2021 fall enrollment report. It put the school district's official 2021 student headcount as of October 1 at 17,800 students. The October 1 total is important because it's used by the state to calculate the school district’s per-pupil funding rate for the school year.

That number is slightly above the number predicted by the most recent enrollment projection issued in February. It is also 165 higher than the October 1 enrollment count in 2020, which works out to an increase of just under one percent.

Jeff Mitchell, Getty Images

The official enrollment number last year was 17,655. That was nearly 800 under the projection and more than 660, or 3.6 percent, below the enrollment total reported on October 1, 2019, when more than 18,400 students were enrolled in the Rochester Public Schools.

The enrollment projections predict the school district’s enrollment won’t reach 18,000 again until the fall of 2024. The report included a survey of parents that found nearly 50 percent of the enrollment decline last year was due to people moving. Nearly 35 percent indicated they had opted to homeschool or enroll their children in a non-RPS online school.

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