Enrollment down at Carman-Ainsworth

FLINT TWP. — Carman-Ainsworth student enrollment count Thursday was 4,390, said Russ Parks, assistant superintendent of operations.

That’s down 171 students from the official count last fall of 4,561 and 148 students fewer than the 4,538 reported in the February 2011 count.

It’s also larger than a projected 100-student decline the district budgeted for this year. Declining enrollment and property values coupled with state-aid budget cuts accounted for much of a $2.2 million shortfall in expenses over revenues in the $51.4 million 2011-12 budget the school board adopted in June.

Parks told the board at that time that the budgeted 100-student loss alone equaled a revenue loss of about $750,000 to $800,000. School officials had hoped the enrollment figure would come in below 100 students.

Parks’ ongoing analysis of district enrollment over the past few years has shown a steady decline. Last spring, he told the board it was showing signs of leveling off.

Parks has previously provided data showing September counts for the past five years at 5,338 in 2006, 5,173 in 2007, 4,866 in 2008 and 4,718 in 2009 — a consistent downward trend.

State-mandated enrollment counts made twice a year in the fall and the winter determine the amount of state aid a district receives. Seventy-five percent of state aid is based on the Fall count and 25 percent on the Winter count.

No further information was available about how many students were absent on count day meaning the final number could change. It also is not known at this time if the decline is severe enough to affect operations or staffing.

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