Source: Sherman Publications

Count Day: Goodrich District student enrollment slides

by David Fleet

October 10, 2012

Goodrich- As anticipated, the 2012-13 student count day Oct. 3 showed a decrease.

District enrollment declined to 2,120 students in 2012—25 less than the count of 2,145 students in 2011. The loss in students means about $170,000 less in school coffers.

Enrollment in the district’s four buildings varied. Reid Elementary (K-2) increased from 380 students in 2011 to 392 in 2012. Oaktree Elementary (grades 3-5) increased from 460 students in 2011 to 470 in 2012. The middle school enrollment declined sharply from 557 in 2011 to 519 in 2012. The high school also declined from 748 in 2011 to 739 students in 2012.

“We planned on 30 less students in this year’s budget,” said Scott Bogner, district superintendent. “Our kindergarten classes have been smaller. The high school numbers will be dropping off a lot, but we’ve made plans to deal with the decline. The positive is the new students that moved into the district and now live here.”

Fall count day on Oct. 3 determines 90 percent of per-pupil funding for the 2012-2013 academic year. A winter count day in February will comprise 10 percent. The per-pupil average will be calculated after count day data is audited. The district receives about $6,800 per student. Districts like Goodrich can keep counting students past the October count day. A change in the State School Aid Act will financially assist districts that attract students during the year and cost districts with a decline in enrollment.

“Now they will be tracking every kid—the state aid will follow,” said Bogner. “I’m skeptical about the new tracking of students given all of the issues in accounting—I’ll be amazed if it works. There is a potential for both losing and gaining; however, we’re not anticipating any great turnovers one way or the other.”

In other years, districts did not get paid for any new students who enrolled after the count day. Now, districts can collect state funding for students who are counted by another school system on count day and then transfer into their district later. For every day these students attend, districts will get a daily prorated amount of state aid. The district that counted the pupil on their Count Day will have its state funding reduced proportionately, state education officials said.

A total of 52 new Schools of Choice students enrolled in Goodrich Schools for the 2012-13 school year compared to 91 SOC students in the district for the 2011-12 school year.

In April the board voted 6-1 to join the Schools of Choice to include the schools within Genesee County. Then by a 6-2 vote, the board joined the contiguous school districts in Lapeer and Oakland counties. The district will determine the application window and the number of students to be accepted into the district. The vote allowed the district to close the SOC students for grades seventh-12 and accept SOC students for grades kindergarten-sixth.

“Right now we don’t have the room at the high school and class sizes are high,” he said. “We have to make sure we deliver a quality product.”