Fast Fact – Oct. 1, 2021
In the 2020-2021 school year, Colorado public schools saw a decrease in student enrollment for the first time in more than two decades, and some student groups saw larger drops than others. In fall 2020, the count of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch (those living in families with incomes below 185% of the federal poverty level, or below $48,470 per year for a family of four) fell by nearly 17,000 children compared to 2019, a decline of 4.5%. This drop in students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch (FRL) occurred despite increased economic struggles for families related to COVID-19. Rather than a real decline, the decrease is likely an indication of the FRL enrollment process’ failure to capture many children in families with low incomes in fall 2020. To learn more about shifting enrollment figures for FRL eligible students, please visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center.