Via NY Post:

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Preliminary reports indicate that more than 5,000 Alabama public school students haven’t shown up for any sort of classes, virtual or in-person, state Education Superintendent Eric Mackey said.

The students are likely to have a hard time catching up and the enrollment drop could mean the loss of hundreds of teachers, he said.

“It’s a very difficult year instructionally and that doesn’t even touch the surface on the issues we will have with these 5,000 students who are not in school and we don’t know where they are,” he said.

Because the state funding formula is based on enrollment, losing the students could hit next year’s budget hard. Mackey told The Montgomery Advertiser he’s hoping the Legislature will make a temporary change to avoid that, perhaps basing allocations on average enrollment for the past couple of years.

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