SPS enrollment drop could mean fewer jobs, staffing changes

The Springfield school board received a heads-up this week that given the pandemic-induced enrollment drop this year, fewer teachers may be needed for the coming school year. The number of staff allocated to each building is expected to be adjusted for the 2021-22 year, which may prompt more teachers to […]

Springfield Public Schools experienced a drop an enrollment drop due to the pandemic and the biggest impact was at the elementary level.

The Springfield school board received a heads-up this week that given the pandemic-induced enrollment drop this year, fewer teachers may be needed for the coming school year.

The number of staff allocated to each building is expected to be adjusted for the 2021-22 year, which may prompt more teachers to switch schools than in a typical year.

“It’s going to be very hard to predict enrollment,” said Superintendent John Jungmann, who will retire this summer.

“The system has been so steady and easy to project. For 20 years, it has been within 1 percent every year. This is not that year. COVID has thrown us for a loop.”

The state’s largest district entered 2020 with an official enrollment of 24,677. But by the start of the 2020-21 year — months into the COVID-19 pandemic — enrollment had fallen to 23,165, a drop of 1,512 students.

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