3 Million K-12 Students Have ‘Fallen Off the Grid,’ Not Showing Up For School

Tuesday, ABC News learned of an alarming decline in the number of students enrolled in public school because of the coronavirus pandemic. The report adds that experts and educators are growing increasingly concerned about the long-term consequences the past 12 months will have on students for years to come.

“A notable number of students seem to have simply fallen off the grid, not showing up for online or in-person instruction, their whereabouts unknown by school officials,” ABC says, adding that homeless students, children with disabilities, children of immigrants, children in foster care, and children of color have been affected the most. 

Bellwether Education Partners released data from a recent study that estimates that approximately three million of the “most educationally marginalized students in the country” may have been missing from school since March 2020, the time schools were forced to close.

This problem affects each of the 50 states.

Florida officials have notably begun working to determine the whereabouts of nearly 88,000 students who were expected for the 2020-’21 academic year but who never showed up.

In Dallas, which accounted for around 153,000 students last year, found that 9,000 high schoolers, 2,000 middle schoolers, and 1,000 elementary school students are currently unaccounted for.

K-12 enrollment in Michigan decreased by 53,000 students in the fall.

These are damning numbers in a story that should have been a national focus well before now.

While the exact reasons for these missing students are currently unclear, some are likely absent due to their lack of access to essential technological resources, such as Wi-Fi, laptops, tablets, and computers. The National Education Association (NEA) estimates that 25% of school-age children do not have broadband access or a web-enabled device.

Keeping schools closed well beyond reasonable dates continues to be the most destructive decision made during the pandemic. It has halted academic and social growth, increased suicide rates, robbed the youth of memories, and according to these reports, kept many students away from school altogether.

“From a learning standpoint, [this is] potentially catastrophic,” Mike Magee, CEO of Chiefs for Change explains. “What we’ve learned, over the course of the last 12 months, is that from both a learning and a health perspective, there are millions of students for whom virtual learning just is not working.”

“There’s a subset of those students who are completely detached from their school systems at the moment. They have logged off. They don’t feel connected enough to their own learning to log on every day,” Magee goes on.


No, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers — the children are not just fine.

“You are going to have a whole generation of kids who are not well enough prepared for college and careers. You are going to have significant increases in mental, social and emotional well-being issues with kids,” Magee concludes.

This was done to students across America. Much of the damage can’t be undone and could linger for years or even decades.


Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.


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  1. maybe the left’s long term plan is to sink education for minorities, so they play more sports to get out of poverty; and feed the media beast!?

    when are Americans going to stand up? if my son was school age, he would no longer go to public school. how about you?

    • Keeping schools virtual after summer break was an insane response by alleged leaders who are paid to be advocates for our childrens’ development. Fear-based decision making has overwhelm the nation. In PA most major school districts hadn’t even gone back to in person learning when our Governor said he wants to raise personal state income tax to give more money to schools that are failing our youth. If it wasn’t such a serious issue you’d almost laugh at the incompetence of leadership.

    • The children of middle class and wealthy families will be just fine. Democrats claim to be the party of poor people, especially poor people of color and this is a downright lie. The very people Dems claim to want to help are the ones that have been hurt the most. I have been saying this for months, families that can afford: i. private school; ii. tudors; and/or (iii) have a stay at home parent who can help the little ones will be fine. The “marginalized” communities will be hurt the most. It just is. What about all of the hungry and abused kids? Don’t fail to recognize that aspect of these fake shutdowns. Democrats sold out our nation just to get rid of Trump.

  2. Thanks, Bobby…very serious stuff you’re telling us all.
    And when or IF these kids make it back into a classroom it might as well be planet mars for them.
    No proper education tools, no access, no socialization…the various school systems affected will be no more than custodial services for several years. So sad.
    H L Mencken was credited with writing, “No one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of people”, and I always believed that to be true.
    We’re already broke, but I think we will OFFICIALLY go bankrupt in the not too distant future thanks to the people, the virus, and to the blue-ribbon committees that will be set up to “solve” our problems.

    • Yes. Politics trumps everything (all pun intended). The Marxists have also traded class for race. It used to be all about bourgeois v. proletariat in terms of wealth/aristocrat v. workers/lack of wealth. That has evolved to whitey (assumed bourgeois) v. non-white (excluding Asians and especially black and assumed proletariat). Class struggle doesn’t sound as sexy as race struggle.

  3. The government is actually failing these children, it isn’t future employers who are racists, if these kids do not get educated they are not employable, period. It is the government who is letting these children down along with Teacher’s Unions, as they don’t really care about education. Look at the guy in California who is keeping schools closed while taking is kid to private school.

  4. Somehow I don’t think the tolerant elite left cares about this because they never cared about childrent in the first place (pedo and abortion lovers)…it was a small sacrifice of children’s future to make Orange man go away.

  5. The one thing no one really talks about is the psychological effect on these children who have lived the last year believing that a horrifically deadly disease is ravaging the world. They have lived in fear and isolation. These poor kids are not going to be risk-takers. They are not going to be filled with adventure, with curiosity. They will be STUNTED. It’s sickening 🙁

  6. What? Really? Who saw this coming? Ah Everyone else. My favorite part “The National Education Association (NEA) estimates that 25% of school-age children do not have broadband access or a web-enabled device.” And they still went ahead with the closures anyway

    • Podcaster Adam Corolla always says “they’re stupid or lying” and it fits politicians perfectly.
      I just don’t trust politicians as a whole. Of course if you make your career and livelihood in politics and you see the spoils it brings (power, money) you’re going to do whatever it takes to maintain your position. And we got a good look and how far some will go this past year. Maybe there are a few with good intentions but lies and hypocrisy are the in the nature of the beast when it comes to politics. I will say that even with my extreme cynicism in politics I’m still surprised out how far the liberal/left leaning politicians and wokesters have gone. I feel like I’m in a bizarro world some days when these crazy stories come out.

  7. At least Trump got voted out. That’s what this was all for right? Let’s flip America upside down and fck up our kids, fck up race relations, completely destroy any trust in media and all so Trump doesn’t do another 4 years. Great plan.

    • That’s exactly what happened. Dems were willing to do anything (and nearly did) to ensure Orange Man Bad was removed from office. Oh but remember now Biden will End Racism, End COVID-19, fix the economy (although they ruined it), etc so we can all breathe easier.

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