The number of students attending private schools in the Hampton, Va., public school district has dropped to zero, the district said on Tuesday, a sign that the school-choice movement in the country has taken a hit.
In its first day of enrollment, Hampton Public Schools said that just eight students attended charter schools, the lowest enrollment level in the district’s history.
The announcement came amid a wave of controversy over the federal government’s role in financing private schools, with critics calling for vouchers and other ways to cut back on federal subsidies for private schools.
The district is trying to restore the number of kids attending charter schools and is asking parents to consider the impact of the school choice program when they decide to opt out.
The Hampton Public School District was created in 2010 to give children a better shot at college and jobs.
The district has an enrollment of about 1,200 students and about 1.4 million students.
The number of public school students in the state fell from 790,000 in 2011 to 592,000 last year.
The number in public schools is expected to rise from 1.8 million in 2020 to 1.9 million in 2026, according to a federal study released in October.