Whitehall District School’s enrollment is stable, according to the February student count taken on Wednesday.
The district, that day, had an enrollment of 2,043 students (K-12), a three-student drop from last Fall.
Wednesday’s count, however, will comprise 10% of a blended count which will include 90% of next Fall’s count.
“I see this as a typical February count,” commented Jerry McDowell, Whitehall District Schools superintendent.
Whitehall’s losses Wednesday came at the high school where there were 10 fewer students on Wednesday, but three returned on Thursday. According to McDowell, one student will return next week to the high school. Ealy Elementary School had the same enrollment figure as the Fall, while the middle school had four more students and Shoreline Elementary gained two more students.
Once the one student returns to the high school, the count will be 2,046, which is the same as last Fall.
The enrollment is important because districts get state funding based on the number of students.
While Gov. Rick Snyder is proposing a small increase in the per pupil state funding, cuts in other funding may result in an overall drop in state aid.
McDowell said the governor’s budget proposal is calling for a $34 increase in the per pupil funding from last year to this year - $6,966 to $7,000. However, the state is proposing a cut in the Best Practices funding. Whitehall received $52 per pupil in Best Practices this past year, but the proposal is to cut it to $16 a student - a $36 drop.
That means the district anticipates receiving $2 less per student in the upcoming school year.
McDowell said that the state funding continues to drop. He said in the 2007-2008 school year, six years ago, the district received $7,316 per student, $300 more per student than they anticipate for the coming year.
Reeths-Puffer saw a loss of students from their Fall count. The Fall 2012 count was 3,870 but this spring’s count was down 30.5 students, at 3,839.5. But while they saw a decrease from the fall count, the new number is technically up from their Spring 2012 count, which was 3,805.
According to R-P Superintendent Steve Edwards, the loss from fall to spring was less than half of what the district has experienced in the past few years.
“Relocation for employment in addition to some students leaving to attend adult or alternative education courses would be the two primary reasons for loss in enrollment over the course of the year,” Edwards said.
This number will be averaged at 10 percent with next fall’s count at 90 percent to determine the enrollment utilized for state funding.