The Wisconsin Policy Forum is reporting that Wisconsin’s K-12 school enrollment is down by more than 25,000 students for the 2020-21 school year, one of many far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that may warrant a response from state and local policymakers.
The information is contained in the findings of a new interactive data tool from the Wisconsin Policy Forum.
According to the forum’s data, Watertown went from 3,889 in 2011-12 to 3,296 in 2020-21. In the same period, Fort Atkinson’s district went from 3,000 students enrolled to 2,652; Hustisford from 420 to 364; Dodgeland from 818 to 744; Jefferson from 1,932 to 1,806; Johnson Creek from 653 to 567, Waterloo from 871 to 768 and Janesville 10,325 to 9,574. Lake Mills defied the trend and went from 1,432 to 1,586.
This latest edition of the tool is the third since its 2019 debut. It is located at https://wispolicyforum.org/research/school-datatool/. It was updated with the most recent available data, which goes through the 2019-20 school year in some categories and through 2020-21 in others.
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which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage of positive tests — a data point the public uses to determine how intense infection is in an area.
While positive test results are being processed and their number reported quickly, negative test results are taking days in some cases to be analyzed before they are reported to the state.
The department said it was between eight and 10 days behind in updating that metric on the dashboard, and as a result it appeared to show a higher positive percentage of tests and a lower number of total tests per day.
The department said this delay is due to the fact data analysts must input each of the hundreds of tests per day manually, and in order to continue accurate and timely contact tracing efforts, they prioritized inputting positive tests.
“Positive tests are always immediately verified and processed, and delays in processing negative tests in our data system does not affect notification of test results,” the department said in a news release. “The only effect this backlog has had is on our percent positivity rate and daily test counts.”
Staff have not verified the approximately 17,000 tests, which includes steps such as matching test results to patients to avoid duplicating numbers and verifying the person who was tested resides in Dane County.
All 77 false-positive COVID-19 tests come back negative upon reruns.
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