Causes for the slide in enrollment are myriad, complicated by existing trends including declining birthrates and people's continued exodus from the state, as well as the sudden economic chaos wrought by the pandemic.
There is $100 million in new state funds to help districts build and renovate classrooms to expand full-day kindergarten. The funds are available to all districts but priority will be given to districts that are struggling financially.
In some schools, class pets do more than help children learn about animals. They are also being integrated into teachers' efforts to help young students learn social and emotional skills, such as self-awareness, responsibility and empathy.