[RELEASE] 2021-22 School Year Enrollment Data

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Press Release Minnesota Department of Education

For Immediate Release

Contact: Ashleigh Norris



February 25, 2022

Previous Announcements

2021-22 School Year Enrollment Data Released

Public school enrollment continues to see pandemic impacts; highlights need to stabilize education funding and support highest-need students

ROSEVILLE, MN – The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) today released 2021-22 school year enrollment data for Minnesota’s schools. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, enrollment in Minnesota public school districts, charter schools and nonpublic schools has shifted. In the 2021-22 school year, public schools overall have seen a roughly 0.3% decrease—or about 2,146 students—in enrollment since 2020-21.

Funding for public schools is directly tied to student enrollment, and these shifts underscore the importance of stabilizing funding for Minnesota public schools. Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan’s Budget to Move Minnesota Forward aims to stabilize education funding by investing an additional 2% on the general education formula, and by reducing the English Learner and special education cross subsidies.

“Our public schools have worked tirelessly to ensure that every single Minnesota student is supported not only academically, but also in their social-emotional and mental health needs,” said Commissioner Dr. Heather Mueller. “Throughout the pandemic, the needs of our students have continued to expand, and we must ensure our public schools have the funding and resources to support students and families.”

Nonpublic schools saw a 5.8% enrollment increase, while homeschooling saw a 10.2% decrease from 2020-21 to 2021-22. Notably, this year’s public kindergarten class saw an increase of 5.2%, showing a rebound from the 9% decrease that was seen between 2019-20 and 2020-21.

2021-22 is the first year the Minnesota definition of American Indian is included in enrollment reporting. The state definition allows students to be reported as American Indian even if they also belong to other racial and ethnic groups. Under the federal definition of American Indian or Alaska Native, these students would fall under “Hispanic/Latino” or “two or more races” and would not be counted as American Indian or Alaska Native in reporting. In 2021-22, American Indian students (state definition) saw an enrollment increase of 1.8%. 

In addition to American Indian students, increased enrollment was seen among Hispanic or Latino students (3.7%), Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander students (8.1%) and students identifying as two or more races (4.2%). Asian students and white students saw enrollment decreases of 1.0% and 1.2%, respectively, and Black students saw the smallest percentage decrease, 0.2%.

Minnesota public schools serve all students, and provide additional support for the highest-need students, such as English Learners and students receiving special education services, both of which are groups that have continued to grow over the last several years. Between 2020-21 and 2021-22, Minnesota’s identified English Learner student population increased by 5.4% and the number of students receiving special education services grew by 1.5%.

All enrollment data provided in the file for the 2021-22 school year is based on what enrollment counts looked like at Minnesota schools on October 1, 2021.

Enrollment data can be downloaded from MDE’s Data Center or accessed through the Minnesota Report Card. Additional information about the state definition for American Indian students is available in the Student Characteristics report within the American Indian Student Achievement Report.