As Minnesota lost public school students, North Dakota grew

For the past two school years, Minnesota public school enrollment has declined, and the state’s school system has lost thousands of students to other learning environments. (We will see if the drop continues when the Minnesota Department of Education releases its annual enrollment report for the 2022-2023 school year sometime around February 2023.)

But not the case for North Dakota’s public schools. While the Roughrider State lost students fall 2020, enrollment numbers have since rebounded and then some. For the 2021-2022 school year, public school enrollment increased 1.6 percent. Enrollment for the 2022-2023 school year is up 1.4 percent.

According to Burbio, an online school data aggregator, North Dakota ranked 9th out of the states for average in-person instruction over the course of the 2020-2021 academic year. Minnesota ranked 37th.

Source: Burbio

Overall, North Dakota public school students had greater access to in-person instruction compared to Minnesota students during COVID-19. Based on national assessment data, North Dakota students experienced significantly less reading and math declines compared to their Minnesota neighbors.

Similar to Minnesota, private school enrollment in North Dakota has also continued to increase, with homeschooling numbers in North Dakota back around what they were pre-COVID.