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Enrollment in Missouri public schools declines by 3.2%

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Enrollment in Missouri's public schools dropped 3.2% this school year as the education system grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. State education officials say 872,470 students are enrolled in preschool through 12th grade in Missouri public schools this year, a drop of nearly 27,500 students. A spokeswoman for the state education department says officials are trying to determine if the students who left are homeschooling, attending a private school that offers onsite learning, or have simply not enrolled yet. The enrollment drop was most pronounced in preschool and kindergarten, with a 31% decline in public preschool and a nearly 10% decrease in kindergarten.