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This week, the Fordham Institute’s Education

It was nonpublic schools—Catholic schools chief among them—that led the way forward in reopening amidst uncertainty. Indeed, while just 43 percent of district schools and 34 percent of charter schools offered in-person learning in September 2020, fully 92 percent of Catholic schools offered in-person learning. To be sure, for charter schools housed in public school buildings, the decision to reopen may not have been theirs to make, yet the impact on families was the same. And the result was that many of the district schools and charter schools that were not open on the first day of the 2020–21 school year remained online for the bulk of the year, some not fully reopening until fall 2021.

While the impact of these Covid-related policy decisions on enrollment trends is still shaking out, emerging patterns suggest that more parents than ever are seeking alternatives.