Enrollment drops less than projected at WB-RC
By Tim Barnum
News Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
WEST BRANCH — Student Count Day Oct. 3 showed that the West Branch-Rose City school district lost students from last year, but the number was much less significant than what was projected.
WB-RC Superintendent Dan Cwayna said the district lost 23 students, but was expecting to lose 60.
“We have a FTE (full-time equivalent) right now of 2,182 as of last Wednesday,” he said. “It’s down from last year, but it’s up from what we projected.”
An incoming kindergarten class that was nearly equal to the graduating class of 2012 helped keep the number of students closer to last year’s total, Cwayna said. WB-RC lost 166 students to graduation last year, but 165 students are currently enrolled in kindergarten per count day numbers, Cwayna said.
With a state foundation allowance of $6,966 per student, the difference in almost 40 students between the projected and actual loss will help out with this year’s operating budget, Cwayna said. He said the district will have about $515,000 more in revenue than what it anticipated.
However, the higher-than-expected revenue does not change anything when it comes to the cuts made before the school year, Cwayna said.
“It just helps our bottom line, but does not restore the fund equity that the district enjoyed over the past several years,” he said.
The district’s budget for this year included multiple cuts, but is still projected to have decreased WB-RC’s fund equity by approximately $1.2 million, leaving about $500,000. Cwayna said if the unanticipated revenue is not spent, WB-RC could put it into fund equity. He added he does not expect the $515,000 to be used to restore any of the cuts.
“We projected a deficit for the school year,” he said. “This simply will help us get through the school year.”
A second count day for the 2012-13 school year is scheduled for Feb. 8. The fall count day is more significant, though, as the second count day accounts for only 10 percent of the blended count, while the fall count determines 90 percent of the blended count.