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Goodrich District enrollment slide continues



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February 27, 2013 - Goodrich-The number of students in the district has continued to decline after the recent count day. Following the Feb. 12 statewide count day, Goodrich now has 2,099 students, 56 fewer than the 2,155 reported in February 2012.

According to the report, enrollment for kindergarten through second grade increased from 385 in February 2012 to 391 after the 2013 school count. Similarly, grades third-fifth also inched up from 466 in 2012 to 469 in 2013. However, grades sixth through eighth dropped in enrollment from 556 in 2012 to 517 in 2013. Enrollment also dipped in the high school from 748 in 2012 to 722 students in February 2013.

Much of the decline was offset by the increase in developmental kindergarten, which jumped from 18 in February 2012 to 35 in February 2013.

Still, Scott Bogner, district superintendent, said the district will have to reduce.

"Currently, the district has a fund balance of 9.6 percent or about $1.6 million," he said. "Now that we have an idea of the enrollment and the amount of funding from the state, we can continue to work on the budget."

In April 2012 the district closed Schoold Of Choice for students in grades 7-12 and accepted SOC students for grades K-6. According to data released by the school district, for the past five years the number of SOC students has grown steadily—from 125 SOC students in the 2007-08 school year to 293 SOC students in the 2011-12 school year.

"We are also beginning to work with the Goodrich Education Association for a new contract that will begin Aug. 1," he added. "We will try to avoid working without a contract and getting the deal closed. But, resources are scarce we are now dealing with a declining enrollment—it's pretty simple, you just can't spend what you don't have. I would not be surprised if Lansing increased funding; however, we have to make sure it's spent on the classroom—that's our top priority."

In 2012, new legislation revamped the student count requirements on which Michigan's public schools base their annual funding. Under the changes of the school aid act, fall counts represent 90 percent of state funding instead of the previous 75 percent, which means the annual February count is 10 percent toward per-pupil funding. In order for schools to count them, students must be in attendance and receive instruction in all classes on the count day, except for a few exceptions such as excused absences.

School districts that take in those students who are released by other districts after count day will now be able to collect state funding for them as part of the revision.

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