Enrollment down; official count due next month
School districts across the state took official enrollment counts on Monday that will determine exactly how much funding the state shells out to schools for the 2012-13 school year.
District 51 will receive $6,141.19 per student this year, a few cents per student less than last year. The state multiplies that dollar amount by the number of full-time equivalent students to determine funding for a district. Kindergarten and pre-school students are calculated as less than a full student.
District 51 adopted its 2012-13 budget in June with a predicted full-time equivalent count of 20,913.9 students and a head count of 21,805 students, a decrease of 196 actual students year over year. The district has an 11-day window to polish its Oct. 1 count and add in students who were absent on Monday before sending the official count to the state, which is expected to confirm and release official counts for all districts in November. So far, District 51 Executive Director of Support Services Melissa Callahan DeVita predicts the district will see a drop in enrollment, although the decrease may not be as severe as predicted.
DeVita said Tuesday at a District 51 School Board meeting the district counted 21,942 students on Sept. 21, down 114 students compared to the same time a year before.
The Sept. 21 count was down 290 students year over year with Glade Park Community School, Grande River Virtual Academy, Independence Academy and Mesa Valley Vision Home and Community Program students taken out of the mix. The district filters state revenue for students at those charter schools and programs directly into those schools and programs, while state funding determined by enrollment for the rest of the district goes into the district’s general fund.
DeVita said high schools had the largest dip in year-over-year enrollment as of Sept. 21 with a 2.7 percent decline, compared to a decrease of 1.55 percent in middle school enrollment and a half of a percent decrease in elementary school enrollment.
“There is no particular area (in the Grand Valley) gaining or losing students. It really is school-by-school,” DeVita added.