MAINE PUBLIC SCHOOL ENROLLMENT
Public school enrollment in Maine has been declining over the past ten years and saw a significant drop in the 2020-21 school year of 7,862 students due to the pandemic and declining population. In the fall of 2021, enrollment increased by 684 students. There are now 173,158 students enrolled in Maine schools for the 2021/2022 school year.
Maine’s student body is getting more diverse. The racial/ethnic groups that have seen the biggest increases over the past 10 years are those identifying as two or more races, Hispanic/Latino, and Black/African American.
More than 37% of Maine’s public school students are considered economically disadvantaged. This figure has trended down over time, from a high of over 46% in 2015, however the method for calculating this number has changed slightly.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant implications for public school enrollment across Maine. Current enrollment remains more than 7,000 students below pre-pandemic levels. The decline in student enrollment in public schools will have long-term fiscal implications for schools despite policymakers helping to facilitate short-term fiscal solutions for enrollment declines.