New state data show kindergarten enrollment in Georgia’s public schools has dropped 11% this fall. That means public schools could lose more than $100 million in state funding next year.
Stephen Owens is a senior policy analyst at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. He says a steep drop in kindergarten enrollment can affect school budgets for years to come. “[Enrollment numbers are] how you plan out how many buses you have, the bonds you have for your buildings, there’s a lot of fixed costs that go into educating students that are paid out several years in advance,” Owens said.