MCPS Faces Decreased Enrollment

School districts throughout Maryland have reported a drop in regular enrollment numbers since the start of the 2020-21 school year. As of October, MCPS enrollment has gone down by 3700 students, which may lead to a budget cut.
To discuss the possible effects of lower enrollment, MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith, along with other county superintendents, met with the Maryland Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee. During their meeting, state Sen. Bryan Simonaire suggested that money from the Kirwan Plan could be diverted to compensate for low enrollment rates. 

Decreased funding and smaller enrollment will impact class sizes, staffing, programs and [there will be] fewer classes and electives being offered,” English teacher Sharon Korotkin said. 

Decreased enrollment rates can also lead to teachers losing their job if there are not enough students to instruct. While some teachers have seen a reduced number of students in their class, others have not.
“If we don’t have enough students enrolled in a class, they will cancel the class even for the students that did sign up,” anatomy and biology teacher Andrew Kenton said. “Last year, I had one full anatomy class and there were students on a waiting list, but not enough to run another section. This year, I’m lucky enough to have two sections.”
Others prospect that more clear, safer plans to reopen schools will help enrollment numbers return to normal. MCPS Student Member of the Board Nick Asante posted Dec. 15 on social media the BOE’s official plan for returning to school. The post detailed different return phases and proposed school formatting for the second semester.

In response to the framework, MCPS’ preference survey revealed only 49.8% of families currently prefer in-person learning.
“I think with time and more experience with virtual learning, more parents will be comfortable with [their children going back to] public schools,” says Korotkin.