W-P down about 40 students
By Tim Barnum
News Editor | email@example.com
WHITTEMORE — Count day at Whittemore-Prescott Oct. 3 showed the district down 42 students from last fall, according to Superintendent Ted Matuszak.
“We have 971 students,” he said.
Matuszak said a big slice of the loss came in kindergarten, where the count is down by 18 students.
“Our kindergarten class is smaller this year than what it has been in past years,” he said. “We have a few less students in high school as well.”
When this year’s fall count is blended with last spring’s count, which is how the state determines districts’ per pupil state allowance, $6,966 per student, the loss is reduced from 42 to 37 students, Matuszak said. He added this is pretty close to what the district budgeted for this year.
“What I had budgeted for, was financially to be down 40 students,” he said.
Matuszak said last year the district did not lose students form the year before. However, the 42-student decrease this year is about the same size of decrease as several years before that, he said.
“Last year, we pretty much maintained our own. We were pretty even last year to the year before that,” he said. “In years prior we were losing about 55 students a year.”
“We’re almost losing the same percentage of students,” Matuszak added. “It’s just our number is getting smaller.”
Unlike past years, state funding will depend on maintaining students throughout this school year, Matuszak said.
“Even though we had the count day this week, legislation for this year says even if a student leaves our district after count day, the money’s going to be adjusted district-to-district,” he said.
For example, Matuszak said if a student left W-P and transferred to a nearby district, both local districts would have to report that transfer to their respective intermediate school districts. Then, the state would adjust the payments, which are received on the 20th of each month, Matuszak said.
“They need to be retained for the whole year for us to get the full funding for them,” he said. “The biggest question now is what happens between now and the end of the year as far as students moving around.”
A second count day will be held Feb. 8. However, the second count day accounts for only 10 percent of the blended count, while the fall count is 90 percent of the blended count.