NJ Dept. of Education: Public school enrollment down by 18K students

School enrollment across New Jersey is dropping, according to the state Department of Education.
Enrollment in public down by 18,000 students since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Passaic School District reported 800 fewer students in October compared to 2019. Toms River reported 600 fewer students at that time. Atlantic City saw a drop of around 400 students.
Education officials blame COVID-19 restrictions and mask mandates for the drop. Enrollment is down by at least 1.2 million nationwide during the pandemic.
But not all school districts in the state saw a drop. The Newark School District kept its mask mandate for months after the state ended it and enrollment grew by nearly 4,000 in the last two years.