C-A enrollment drops, but shows signs of leveling off

FLINT TWP. — Enrollment still is dropping in the Carman-Ainsworth School district but showing signs of leveling off, Russ Parks, assistant superintendent, reported to the Board of Education at its Tuesday night meeting.

Parks revealed tentative results of last week’s state-mandated student head count which showed enrollment at 4,538 down 23 students from 4,561 in September.

“The trend still is going down but not that drastic,’’ Parks said, noting that it is normal to lose students from September to February. “We think we are leveling off.’’

Enrollment counts done twice per school year – in September and February – determine the amount of state funding a district receives for the following school year. Currently, Carman-Ainsworth gets $8,229 per student.

The February 2011 enrollment data is tentative because about 250 students were absent on count day, Parks said. The district is allowed to count them but they will be dropped from the final count if they do not return to school within the next 30 days. Parks said 99 percent of absent students are expected to return.

Parks said the February count will be finalized in about a month and combined with enrollment projections for September 2011 to help the board adopt its budget in June for next school year.

Parks also provided data showing that student enrollment in the past five years has dropped substantially but the yearto year losses have lessened.

September counts in the past five years show enrollment at 5,338 in 2006, 5,173 in 2007, 4,866 in 2008 and 4,718 in 2009 – a consistent downward trend.

Similarly, February counts were 5,217 in 2007, 5,058 in 2008, 4,789 in 2009 and 4,657 last year – also a steady decline.

Combined September and February counts over a five year period show that Carman-Ainsworth’s total enrollment of 5,308 in the 2006 calendar year dropped to 4,585 in 2010 – a loss of 723 students.

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